How Ted Lasso, WandaVision, and Bridgerton captured our attention in 2021

October 1, 2021

Written by Haley Corzo

Binge-watching. It’s a term that’s entered the vernacular in the 21st century, and a determining factor in much of the content streaming services produce. The big question — will this TV show be binge worthy?

Now that all the big streaming platforms are putting out original programming, the competition for the biggest TV show of the year is hotting up. There are a number of ways to measure this of course, but one of those is measuring the amount of earned media a show gets, and how the public engages with that coverage. 

Using NewsWhip’s Analytics, we explored the top TV shows on Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+ and HBO so far this year for new series and returning favorites alike, to see which one had the most engagement, and also noted a couple of rising stars to keep on the radar. Let’s begin with Netflix.

The most engaged TV show on Netflix 

Netflix has been the leading streaming service for some time now, producing an abundance of original shows and movies for a worldwide audience.. This year has proven no different, with the platform’s biggest TV show having more engagements than any other show we looked at on any platform in 2021, even though the show itself debuted at the end of last year. That show was Bridgerton. 

Chart showing the top stories about tv show Bridgerton

Bridgerton has been written about 34k times this year so far and has received a whopping 14 million engagements. The show created a large fan base, and the biggest article was about the executive producer hinting that there is potential for eight seasons. The article by The Sun was easily the biggest story and received over 1.3 million engagements alone. The Tab’s article about season two’s release was the next biggest story, bringing in 500k engagements. Unfortunately for fans, the article turned out to be a well-executed April Fool’s joke.

The most engaged TV show on Apple TV 

Apple TV’s biggest show is not a new one, but it continues to be a fan favorite and won a number of Emmy awards this month. Ted Lasso, which stars Jason Sudeikis as an earnest Premier League soccer coach, has had nearly 900k engagements to articles written about it this year. 

There were many articles written about the seven Emmy awards that the show won, and is described as Apple TV’s first big breakout hit. The biggest article that was not about the Emmys was The Kitchn’s article about how to make the famous Ted Lasso biscuits. The recipe was also shared on Pinterest and received 2k pins. 

The most engaged TV show on Disney+ 

This year Disney+ premiered WandaVision, a miniseries based on the Marvel Comics featuring the characters Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) and Vision. Media interest was especially high for WandaVision, with over 31k articles written about it. 

The websites Comicbook, Screenrant, and Yahoo were responsible for a considerable portion of the articles, with each writing about the show well over a thousand times each. Together the three websites received 5.7 million engagements, which is more than half of the total engagements WandaVision had this year. Comicbook’s article about Elizabeth Olsen deserving an Emmy award for her performance as Wanda was the top article about the show. 

The most engaged TV show on HBO 

HBO also added a new original series to its library with Mare of Easttown. Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet stars in the American crime drama, which has garnered 1.4 million engagements this year. 

Although Winslet is the lead in the show, the biggest articles written about it were actually about her co-star Evan Peters. Popbuzz’s article was about Peters’ first ever Emmy nomination and win for his role in the show. The article had 118k engagements and was the biggest piece of content about Mare of Easttown. 

An Evan Peters fan page on Facebook also posted about his Emmy win and received 30k engagements.

Rising stars

Netflix recently released a South Korean survival drama called Squid Game that is quickly gaining interest. The show only premiered on September 17th, but has already received 1 million engagements on articles written about it since then. Netflix’s Facebook post showing a teaser has also brought in 1.7 million engagements alone. 

Another fan favorite that is returning with a third season is HBO’s Succession. The show has had 139k engagements about it this year, with anticipation over season three’s release on October 17th. Succession is one to watch as 2021 begins to wrap up. 

Although there are many shows we could mention from all the platforms noted above, these were the ones that made headlines in 2021 and have captured the public’s attention too. It will be interesting to see what the competition looks like as we enter 2022. 

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Haley Corzo

Haley is a Content Strategist for NewsWhip working at the intersection of journalism and marketing. With experience working in advertising for consumer brands, she brings a fresh perspective on how NewsWhip’s technology can be used to make an impact. She is passionate about topics such as mental health, women’s issues, and travel.

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