The Most Binge-Watched Show On Amazon Isn't What We Expected

Billy McBride Billy Bob Thornton Goliath Amazon Prime Video

Out of all the original programming offered on Amazon Prime Video, only one holds the title as the streaming service's most binge-watched program. Surprisingly, the title doesn't belong to Transparent, Mozart In The Jungle, or really anything we or others may have expected, but rather the Billy Bob Thornton-starring drama Goliath.

An Amazon rep recently confirmed reports first spread by the show's showrunner that, yes, Goliath is the streaming service's most binge-watched show. There is a pretty specific way they went about measuring it, too. In the rep's words:

[Goliath] is the top binged first season of a U.S.-produced Amazon Original Series ever over its first 10 days. No other season one had a higher season completion rate through ten days.

That news, which comes from The Wrap, is pretty surprising, not to discredit anyone involved with the show. While Goliath has received good reviews from critics, its aggregate score isn't nearly as high as some other acclaimed original shows on Amazon Prime Video. Co-created by TV vets David E. Kelley and Jonathan Shapiro, who first boasted the claims, Goliath stars Billy Bob Thornton (who won a Golden Globe for the role) as a formerly successful lawyer who becomes an alcoholic after a murder suspect he helped get acquitted (on a technicality) murdered an entire family. The series premiered in October of 2016 and was renewed for a Season 2 back in February. One wonders how many people binge-watched after the Golden Globe win spread the word.

What makes this news even more bizarre is, outside of the awards circuit, how little mainstream buzz Goliath has gotten since its release. That kind of makes sense, considering Amazon subscribers weren't a part of the greenlight decision, as the studio bypassed its traditional viewer-voting pilot system and ordered Goliath straight to series, so there wasn't as much pre-release buzz either. But according to Jonathan Shapiro, Amazon based all its Goliath decisions on their data and the information they had on the buying and renting of movies, which basically equalled out to "Star Power."

Amazon is unbelievable in terms of being data-driven in regards to what they put on the air. Amazon said to us from the very beginning, in essence, 'We're not that interested in the show. What we're interested in is who you get to be in the show. Because based on who rents and buys movies, here is a list of four actors that if you can get them to do the show, we will put you on the air --- no pilot --- guaranteed, $62 million budget.'

Just to recap, because it sounds insane, Amazon used their analytics to bet a show would succeed solely based on the condition that one or more actors on a certain list were attached. And succeed, Goliath did. That not only says a lot about Amazon's faith and reasoning behind relying on their data but also Billy Bob Thornton's continued star power. We can only assume his name was one of the four on the list, however, as Jonathan Shapiro did not divulge any specifics as to who Amazon wanted on Goliath.

Goliath is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and Season 2 is expected to release in 2018. For a look at other shows coming in 2018, be sure to visit CinemaBlend's midseason premiere guide. Those still wishing to see what fall has to offer can still check out our fall premiere guide which still has plenty of great things to watch. For a look at some shows that got the ax in 2017, visit our cancellation guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.