This is How Many Episodes It Takes to Get Hooked on a TV Show

Do you remember when you became addicted to your favorite show? Netflix can probably tell you.

Photo by Christoph Hetzmannseder/Getty Images

Not surprisingly, the pilot of a new television show isn't always its best episode. Sometimes, it takes two or three episodes to really begin to care about the characters or the plot. And sometimes, it takes even more than that. Just in time for the return of your favorite fall shows, Netflix has released data about when viewers became "hooked" on popular television shows—so if you're looking to play catch-up on fan favorites like Orange is the New Black or Scandal, you'll know exactly how many hours you'll need to spend before getting completely addicted.

To find viewers' turning point, Netflix analyzed customer accounts between January through July of this year, and looked at multiple countries, including Brazil, Canada, France, Sweden, and the U.S. They defined a "hooked episode" as one where 70 percent of viewers continued watching until they finished season one. They first determined each country's "hooked episode," and then averaged them to figure out the global episode. While every show was different, no viewers were ever hooked in a pilot episode. 

"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," Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, said in a statement. "However, in our research of more than 20 shows across 16 markets, we found that no one was ever hooked on the pilot."

Some of the fastest shows for getting hooked include Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, and Scandal, all which took just two episodes. The longest people had to stick with a show before really getting addicted was eight episodesfor How I Met Your Mother and Arrow. Other favorites included Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Better Call Saul, which both required four episodes, and House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, which both took three. 

Whether you're hoping to catch up on a popular show before it returns next month, or just want to binge-watch an old favorite, now you know exactly when you'll go from casual viewer to serious fan.