Frequent TV Series Cancellations Altering Viewer Behavior, Survey Shows

Frequent TV show cancellations are starting to change how U.S. viewers decide what to watch. In fact, whether or not the show has concluded has a significant impact on whether people sample it, according to a survey from YouGov.

A quarter of U.S. adults wait for streaming originals’ finale before starting, citing fears over the show’s potential cancellation with an unresolved ending (27%) or because they do not want to wait for the next season after a cliffhanger (24%). Nearly half (48%) of the participants who said they prefer to wait until the series ends before starting it cited a preference for binge-watching shows.

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Moreover, the survey showed that nearly half of Americans (46%) sometimes or always wait for the series finale before they even begin watching the show. The 18-to-34-year-old age group was the most likely to agree with that statement, with 25% saying always and 34% saying sometimes.

The YouGov survey also revealed that around a third (31%) of U.S. adults who use streaming services to watch original shows estimated one to three shows they had started since February 2022 had been canceled, even with unsettled plotlines.

Women in the US (50%) are also more likely than men (46%) to wait for a show to end completely as they prefer to binge-watch all seasons continuously.

The survey comes on the heels of a year when countless shows were canceled or ended, and often quite abruptly. From “Ellen’s Game of Games” on NBC to the syndicated “Wendy Williams Show” to Netflix’s “The Babysitter Club” and the CW’s “Batwoman,” many shows met their sometimes surprise endings last year.

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