Netflix has produced evidence that ‘Breaking Bad’ is the most addictive TV series on its roster, determining that it takes viewers just two episodes in order to become hooked.

The streaming giant has analysed data from 16 countries to gain some insight into the modern phenomenon of binge-watching TV boxsets – let’s face it, we’ve all done it, even if we’re not proud of it – and has tried to discover the exact point at which a viewer becomes 70% likely to finish the entire first season of several hit shows.

AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’, hailed by some as the greatest TV series ever, takes only two episodes for the average viewer to become addicted – compared to four episodes for its spin-off series ‘Better Call Saul’. A number of other shows, such as ‘Scandal’, ‘The Killing’ and ‘Bates Motel’ also took just two episodes, it must be noted, but these are (we’re guessing) likely to have smaller viewerships.

Breaking BadNetflix's new survey shows 'Breaking Bad' to be one of its most addictive shows

Other renowned Netflix-only hits, such as prison comedy-drama ‘Orange Is The New Black’ and political drama ‘House of Cards’, took three episodes on average to reel in a permanent fan. Superhero show ‘Daredevil’ takes five episodes, while the recently-finished ‘Mad Men’ takes six. ‘How I Met Your Mother’, the long-running sitcom that lasted nearly ten years, takes eight episodes, though as a comedy it contains 22 episodes in its first series.

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However, none of the shows analysed were able to get viewers hooked on the strength of the pilot episode alone. Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, said that this observation backs up his company’s business model of providing fans with entire series of hit shows in one go, rather than releasing the episodes as weekly instalments.

“Given the precious nature of primetime slots on traditional TV, a series pilot is arguably the most important point in the life of the show. However, in our research of more than 20 shows across 16 markets, we found that no one was ever hooked on the pilot. This gives us confidence that giving our members all episodes at once is more aligned with how fans are made.”

The survey was conducted using data from Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and US, and was collected from January to July 2015. Additional data from Australia and New Zealand was collected from a smaller period, from April to July.

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