How an Earlier Time Slot Boosts the ‘Ahsoka’ Buzz | Chart

Lucasfilm’s just-launched Disney+ series “Ahsoka” is, in many ways, a classic “Star Wars” tale: Good battles evil, hope overcomes defeat and ancient mysteries are uncovered in the advancement of new threats. But it also felt groundbreaking in one key aspect — its release timing.

Instead of launching at midnight Pacific (3 a.m. Eastern), a streaming practice largely established by Netflix, the show premiered with two episodes, starting at 6 p.m. Pacific/9 p.m. Eastern. Fans could watch a new episode of a “Star Wars” show and still function the next day, and it has paid off in viewership: Disney said the debut episode drew 14 million views, making it the most-watched title on Disney+ for the week.

According to Parrot Analytics, “Ahsoka” is off to a better start with global audiences than any Disney+ live-action “Star Wars” series so far, including “The Mandalorian,” which launched alongside Disney+ in November 2019. The Force is definitely with this one.

When comparing demand during their first three days of availability, global demand for “Ahsoka” is outpacing all of its four “Star Wars” live-action series predecessors, which includes “The Mandalorian” spin-off “The Book of Boba Fett”; “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which saw Ewan McGregor return to the title role that he originated in the “Star Wars” prequels; and “Andor,” the critically adored prequel series starring Diego Luna and set before the events of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

Parrot Analytics Ahsoka Data
Demand for “Star Wars” series after premiere (Parrot Analytics)

As Parrot Analytics noted, however, global demand for “The Mandalorian” built up significantly throughout its Season 1 run, fueled in part by Baby Yoda capturing the zeitgeist in a pretty unprecedented way.

“It’s hard to see ‘Ahsoka’ reaching those peaks,” the report noted.

But it could happen. Ahsoka Tano, a morally conflicted former Jedi, is a fan-favorite character first introduced as Anakin Skywalker’s protégé in the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” back in 2008 (then voiced by Ashley Eckstein), who returned for “Star Wars Rebels,” a kind of sequel series, in 2014. More recently the character debuted in live action, played by Rosario Dawson, in a 2020 episode of “The Mandalorian” and returned for an episode of “The Book of Boba Fett” last year. Now the character finally has her own show, in a series entirely written by “Clone Wars” veteran Dave Filoni.

The earlier time slot being introduced by Disney+ and Lucasfilm means that discussion can ensue more quickly; the night that “Ahsoka” premiered, it was also a trending topic on X, formerly known as Twitter. And it allows creators, editors and writers time to prep Easter egg breakdowns, recaps and synopses and have them ready to go the next morning, without having to stay up all night to get them done.

We’ll keep an eye on the numbers, with the help of Parrot Analytics, and see if “Ahsoka” can generate more views than “The Mandalorian” in its inaugural season. With this earlier time slot, at the very least, nobody will be losing sleep over its performance. Literally.

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