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TV Fans are pretty Netflix crazy right now. With original programming being released quickly, and spanning many genres, it would seem that Netflix would be on top of the world. But, are the much-hyped Netflix shows actually better than other premium networks?
To put it plainly: no, they aren’t. Cut Cable Today recently did a study comparing Netflix with similar networks like HBO, Showtime, FX, and AMC. This study took each of the Networks’ ratings, based on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, and compiled them into a percentage out of 100. The rankings were as follows:
While each Netflix release gets a frenzy of media attention, it seems their ratings don’t quite stand up to some of the TV juggernauts like HBO and Showtime. However, fourth place is nothing to be ashamed of since its venture into original programming is rather new.
Netflix released its first original series in 2013 with dark political drama House of Cards. In some genius market research, the Netflix team realized that their audience favored streaming movies starring Kevin Spacey and thus cast him as fictional politician Francis Underwood. Following the success of House Of Cards, new shows began being released at an exhausting pace including megahit Orange Is The New Black, and now has brought the Marvel Cinematic Universe to TV with plans for a gaggle of new series.
While the streaming service has certainly released a ton of original content in a short few years, the quality and reception aren’t always consistent. Indeed, a few poorly received shows brought Netflix’s score down in the study.
Netflix has serious competition, as HBO dominates Sunday programming all-year long. With arguably the most expensive and successful show in modern TV, Game of Thrones, as well as its long history of massively popular shows, Netflix has some serious catching up to do.
Showtime also has had quite a few massive hits with Dexter, Weeds, and the current juggernaut that is Homeland. Additionally, FX currently has two well-received programs being aired at the same time with American Horror Story and Fargo.
While Cut Cable Today kept their study fair by averaging out the scores of TV shows that have more than one season (each season getting their own rating, and then averaged out), Netflix still should be cut some slack. After all, the rest of these networks have a history of viewership, with people watching series after series- loyal to the network that brought them the first TV show they loved. So, the fact that Netflix is in the top 4 rated networks is quite a feat considering they’ve only been in the game for a few years.
Sorry Netflix diehards, it looks like your network is producing just as much quality programming as it's competitors. While their speed is something of note, it seems Netflix is right on track with its competitors.