In the early days of Netflix, the streamer gained the reputation of the savior of canceled shows. Whenever a series was canceled by its broadcast or cable network, fans rallied for Netflix to swoop in to save their favorite show because of the precedent it had set.
Once upon a time, Netflix saved shows like The Killing and Arrested Development, later grabbing others like You from Lifetime, Designated Survivor from ABC, and perhaps most popularly, Lucifer from Fox. In 2021, Netflix saved the canceled NBC series Manifest.
But Netflix has also had a hand in saving shows without actually saving them. See, the streamer doesn’t have to revive a series that’s been axed. Rather, Netflix has the power of the “Netflix bump,” which has seen many shows benefit from streaming on the platform.
Shows saved by the Netflix bump
How real is the Netflix bump, and how has the streamer had an indirect hand in either bringing shows to a wider audience or breathing new life into veteran series? Let’s take a look at the shows that have Netflix to thank, in part, for their longevity or success, beginning below with Riverdale.
For some viewers, The CW’s updated take on the Archie Comics was and continues to be a hard sell. Riverdale puts the classic characters of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and so many more in situations of mystery and horror. It’s the highest of camp and not for the faint of heart.
Of course, Riverdale’s first season began with a tight 13-episode mystery about the murder of Cheryl Blossom’s twin brother Jason. The midseason starter had a modest debut on The CW, but after the world got hold of season 1 on Netflix, they were hooked.
By the time season 2 premiered in the fall of 2017, Riverdale had new viewers returning in droves as the season premiere’s ratings nearly doubled what the pilot debuted to the previous January. While ratings have declined with each passing season, that Netflix bump was present and accounted for.
Even today, as Riverdale continues its boundary-pushing sixth season, the series remains a huge hit on the Netflix top 10 when new episodes start streaming. No one can deny the power of the endearingly weird and charmingly chaotic Riverdale, but Netflix is definitely part of its success story.