Does “background TV” rule British streaming? The UK’s most-streamed TV, August 2023
October 2nd, 2023, Clifton Mark

Does “background TV” rule British streaming? The UK’s most-streamed TV, August 2023

The back catalogues of American sitcoms remain Britain’s favourite streaming genres, with

The Big Bang Theory, Friends and The Office taking the top three spots on August’s streaming chart, followed by Brooklyn Nine-Nine. 

Not only are these the most viewed shows, they’re also by far the most binged. Viewers of The Big Bang Theory watched an average of 49 episodes last month, and those of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 31.

Do old shows simply command several times more attention than the latest hits? Perhaps not. It’s possible that these programs, which appear on these charts month after month, are part of the growing phenomenon of background viewing.

Since the pandemic, leaving the TV on in the background while multitasking has become more and more popular. Especially for those who work from home, the TV can provide a kind of background noise to replace the bustle of the office. According to some, comfortable shows that have been seen before make the best “background TV”. This phenomenon may account for the fact that older sitcoms tend to rule the British streaming charts.

Comfort viewing titan, The Big Bang Theory was viewed 59.2 million times in August, just shy of the 59.9 million it received in July. However, this month it was enough to take top spot, since the spin-off Young Sheldon dropped by half from 69.2 million views in July to 32.2 million in August. This may be because fans have finished watching all the episodes in Season 5, released on July 5. Despite this, the prequel still is the sixth most-streamed title in the UK.

The highest-ranking new title on the list is Heartstopper, a Netflix British comedy-drama about a gay young man coming of age. The second season’s eight episodes were released on August 3, and viewers cued them up immediately, watching an average of eight episodes in August.

Reality show At Home with the Furys follows boxer Tyson Fury and his family, including wife Paris, six children as well as his brother Tommy and his girlfriend Molly-Mae Hague. Released in August, the show immediately became the eighth most-streamed title in Britain. Although Tyson got cold feet early in filming and attempted to call off the show, it’s been renewed for a second season which may be released in 2024.

Most-streamed titles July, 2023

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Methodology: YouGov Stream is an audience streaming tracker, monitoring reported streaming attitudes and behaviours with verified SVOD & AVOD viewership data across multiple streaming services. It is backed by 160,000 activated accounts and the ability to connect to YouGov’s panel of 22 million+ registered members.