MIDiA: Historical & Crime Dramas “Dominating” Lockdown Viewing 


The demand for historical and crime dramas is rising in the U.S. amid continued stay-at-home measures that have led to significant increases in video streaming, according to MIDiA Research.

The MIDiA Index has recorded the top ten most-viewed Wikipedia TV pages from April 29 in the U.S., with The Last Kingdom, Ozark, Normal People, After Life and Gangs of London in the top five. The rest of the list, in consecutive order, features Westworld, Better Call Saul, Killing Eve, Peaky Blinders and Homeland.

Wikipedia page views gauge fandom for shows just coming into the market as well as established shows. MIDiA says that a specific view of a Wikipedia show page means that “the viewer has specifically decided to read a page about a show, denoting their interest in a way that a casual google search does not.”

The top shows that are most in-demand in the U.S. are shows on Netflix and Hulu, “underlining just how much streaming now leads in zeitgeisty original content,” the research firm says.

Six of these top shows are U.K.-based productions, which in the direct-to-consumer era, indicates that Disney+ and Apple TV+ “are not yet making the kind of sustained impact required for them to be perceived as originators of compelling new content.”

While the appeal of historical drama could be perceived as escapism for audiences confined in their homes, MIDiA says, the increased appeal of crime drama is “harder to quantify” and different from December 2019, when The Mandalorian led the top ten most-viewed Wikipedia page views. In December, the top ten was more diverse in terms of genres—reality, scripted drama, comedy, sci-fi, fantasy and animation joining historical drama and crime. MIDiA highlights the complexity of the storylines in crime dramas as the potential draw for audiences with time on their hands. “Perhaps in a similar way to how the who-done-it detective novel thrived during the financially-constrained era of the 1930s, the crime thriller is the cheap and extended thrill required to help bored consumers continue into their second month of home confinement.”