“The Office”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Criminal Minds” represent three genres that have once been a staple in American entertainment – workplace comedies and medical and crime films. They also have an aggregate library of 830 episodes, significantly increasing them on the Nielsen list, ranking shows based on the total number of minutes watched. (“Grey’s Anatomy” is still running on ABC and is in season 17.)
Brian Fuhrer, senior vice president at Nielsen, said: “These shows benefit disproportionately because they both have a lot of real estate and a lot of episodes for everyone to watch. “And what they also do is feel normal. They can go back and find out what’s going on with Dwight Schrute ”.
Among the original series, the only non-Netflix show on Nielsen’s top 10 list is the famous Disney side story + “Star Wars”, “The Mandalorian”.
Netflix documentary “Tiger King”, is the only show on Nielsen’s original series list to have at least eight episodes. It premiered on March 20, as soon as home orders were released across the country and a week before the third season of “Ozark” was available on Netflix.
“Both hit the heart of the pandemic when people were locked up at home with little work to be done,” said Fuhrer. “Both are seen a lot.”
While TV and cable networks rely on Nielsen to keep them informed about what people are watching, all streaming companies have their own internal metrics. Neither of them publicly endorsed Nielsen’s methodology, nor do they need those metrics to determine which shows should be promoted or canceled.
For more than a year, Netflix has released figures around the world for original shows, providing some insight into what people are watching. But its list comes with important warnings. Netflix counts viewers for at least two minutes of a show, and the service is extremely selective of the shows and movies it discloses. (Example: Netflix recently said Shonda Rhimes’s new drama, “Bridgerton”, is the service’s fifth-most-watched original, with viewers on the same level as “Tiger King” and “The Queen’s Gambit.”)