Netflix's first Atlanta-based scripted drama "Stranger Things" looks like a lock for a second season although the network has not yet announced a formal renewal.
Since Netflix does not reveal how many of its subscribers watch "Stranger Things" since it doesn't have to, I have to ascertain popularity by other means.
And there are plenty of metrics that make it clear the 80s-era homage to "Goonies," "Poltergeist" and "Stand By Me" has resonated with its fans.
Let's look first at social media. "Stranger Things" is building a head of steam there far faster than most popular shows.
The series already has 1.3 million likes on Facebook. In comparison, TNT's 'Rizzoli & Isles," which has been around for several years, has 1.467 million likes on Facebook. And CBS's "The Good Wife," which just concluded after seven seasons, has 1.3 million likes as well.
Twitter is dying. So as a measurement, I take it with a grain of salt. The show now has 154,000 followers. Not bad. In comparsion, A&E's "Bates Motel" in its third season has 195,000 followers. Starz' "Power" has 155,000 followers in its third season. MTV's 'Scream" in season two has 151,000 followers.
Instagram is now more relevant than Twitter. "Stranger Things" now has 160,000 followers there. For comparison, "Nashville" (now on CMT after four seasons on ABC) has 249,000. Lifetime's "Devious Maids," in its fourth season, has 79,900 followers. Showtime's "Ray Donovan," in its fourth season, has 68,700 followers.
Now let's look at critics and viewer ratings, with comparisons with other shows:
Critics liked it. Metacritic, compiling an average of critical reviews, gave "Stranger Things" 75 out of 100. Users on the site like it even more, with a stronger 9.1 out of 10. In comparison, critics gave the third season of Starz' 'Survivor's Remorse" an 83 out of 100, Showtime's "Roadies" a 47 out of 100, TNT's "Animal Kingdom a 65 out of 100, and OWN's "Greenleaf" a 68 out of 100.
Out of 95,000-plus reviews on imdb.com (that huge number alone in just a month indicates a lot of viewers), the show received a 9.1 out of 10, same as on Metacritic. In comparison, AMC's "Mad Men" on imdb.com, with 143,000 reviews over nine years, received an 8.6. AMC's "Breaking Bad," based on 880,000 reviews over eight years, has a 9.5, same as HBO's 'Game of Thrones," which has more than 1 million reviews over five years. AMC's "The Walking Dead" over six years and 660,000 reviews has an 8.5. And FX's "Sons of Anarchy" has an 8.6 from 181,000 reviews over eight years.
And let's see what the executive producers had to say recently:
In an interview with Slash , executive producer Shawn Levy: "We definitely are hopeful to go several more seasons. And the plan is to continue with this set of characters while introducing a few critical key new ones next season. So I’ll just say that a lot of the big mysteries get answered at the end of Season 1, but we are very much kind of unearthing new problems and questions that merit future stories and future investigation in the most enjoyable way.”
During a Television Critics Association panel earlier this month, creator Ross Duffer said season two will be "a little bit darker," while brother Matt hinted the whole story line will be structured differently. In other words, they acted as if a second season were a fait accompli.
And the bottom line is the boss:
Asked by the Guardian whether a second season was forthcoming, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings stopped short of confirming a deal had been done, but said “we would be dumb not to."
By RODNEY HO/ email@example.com, originally filed Thursday, August 11, 201