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Netflix Has Figured Out Which TV Show Episodes Get You Hooked

Now you can know exactly how many episodes of Mad Men episodes you need to watch before you "get it."

by Michael Cuby
Sep 23 2015, 7:28pm

Photo via Flickr user Helge Thomas.

Related: Why There Are So Many Terrible Movies On Netflix

Thanks to Netflix, most people will binge-watching a television show at least a few (or many) times each year. But the abundance of TV options also means that people get a little click-happy, and abandon shows that don't hook them right away in search or something more interesting.

Well, Netflix watches you while you watch Netflix, and the company has figured out exactly how many episodes of a specific show it takes to get a viewer hooked. They've now released that information to the world, so you now know you'll have to sit through six episodes of Mad Men if you really want to get into it.

To conduct the study, Netflix analyzed streaming data from subscribers around the world and figured out which episode of various shows inspired at least 70 percent of users to continue watching through until the end of the first season.

Shows like Breaking Bad and Bates Motel only took two episodes to hook viewers, but Mad Men and The Blacklist needed viewers to get through six before the majority got on board. The study didn't identify patterns to explain why some shows took longer to get people binging than others.

Interestingly, none of the shows hooked a majority of viewers with their pilot episode, which, as Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, pointed out, contradicts the idea that "a series pilot is arguably the most important point in the life of a show."

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