Hooked: Brits spend 395.2 hours per year watching TV series

Over the last couple of years, countless Brits have turned to television to keep themselves entertained. But which shows have had viewers longing for more? We asked the nation about their TV habits, to reveal just how long the typical UK household spends watching TV series each week, and which shows released in the last two years had the most viewers hooked.

How long do we spend watching TV?

According to our research, Brits spend an average of 7.6 hours a week (that’s 395.2 hours per year) in front of the TV watching episodes of their favourite series. However, 30.6% of UK households will binge for more than 10 hours a week.

These figures vary across the country, with people in Leeds and Norwich glued to the screen more than anywhere else (8.3 hours), followed by London (8 hours) and Belfast (8 hours). Meanwhile, residents of Manchester spend the least time watching series (6.3 hours).

The shows that had most viewers hooked

Of the TV shows that either launched or released new seasons in 2020/21, it’s the psychological thriller The Undoing that claims the crown as the most enthralling. Despite two thirds of Brits (65.8%) never having watched the show (possibly due to it only being available across a few streaming platforms), of those who did watch, 88.8% were hooked*, 45.4% in the first half an hour**.

Closely behind, the South Korean drama Squid Game, which was only released in September 2021, already ranks as Netflix’s most streamed series of all time. Over half of Brits (51.9%) have seen the binge-worthy show, with 88.5% of viewers claiming they were hooked within three episodes – and 72.1% in the first one! Mare of Easttown is also among the most gripping shows of 2021, ranking third with 88.1% of viewers finding themselves completely engrossed by the dramatic storytelling.

Rounding off the top five most gripping shows of the last couple of years, 2020’s Irish drama Normal People places fourth overall, with 86.8% of viewers hooked by the third episode. Meanwhile 86.6% of Ted Lasso fans were enchanted by the feel-good sports comedy.

Which shows hooked fans the fastest?

Capturing the attention of viewers over a few episodes is impressive, but hooking your audience within just half an hour is something special - and it’s a feat achieved by BBC spy thriller Killing Eve.

When the show’s third season was released in April 2020, 51.2% of viewers were committed by just the 30-minute mark - made even more remarkable considering two thirds of Brits (62.1%) tuned in.

The show to have fans hooked second fastest is the historical drama The Crown. Four seasons in, the show still manages to engage fans, with 48.6% spellbound by the royal goings-on within half an hour of the first episode.

Contrastingly, WandaVision proved to be the slowest-burning series, hooking just 37.5% of fans within the first half an hour. The show likely benefited from Marvel’s loyal following, with viewers happy to stick around after the first episode. And it was certainly worth it, with 83.9% completely fixated by the end of the third episode.

Brought to you by the broadband experts at comparethemarket.com


  1. A survey of 2,005 people who regularly stream TV series carried out by TLF in November 2021
  2. The TV series included within the survey were compiled from multiple Statista sources including Netflix series viewership, Golden Globe nominations per television series or program, and Emmys nominations

*The percentage of viewers who had watched the show, and reported that they were hooked at least by the end of the third episode

**Percentage of viewers that were hooked in the first half an hour’ includes those that responded within the first 10,20 and 30 minutes