Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > TV Talk
Reload this Page >

Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

TV Talk Talk about Shows on TV
View Poll Results: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?
Yes (please specify...)
60.00%
No (term just came about)
40.00%
What are you high?
0
0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

Old 06-16-19, 09:23 PM
  #1  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
Thread Starter
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 45,399
Received 453 Likes on 403 Posts
Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

So I was waiting at the bar at a restaurant last night with my brother in law, waiting for parents to arrive to take the out for Dad’s Day.

Anyway, he got a drink, was talking to bartender about GoT, neither of whom saw the series. Talking about last ep. Bartender saying Jon got hosed. I didn’t say a thing because I could have gone on forever.

But, my brother in law told bartender that the first “binge” show was the The Sopranos. I was ready to call bs bc Sopranos was 1999. No hbo go or now or even on demand I think and it was a weekly series over many many years. People watched and loved when originally aired. It didn’t become a sensation through binge watching now, I don’t think and only on newly created streaming services, HBO Go, Now, sub through Amazon.

So, is there a show that became first “binge” watching tv? It has to be a steaming series that drops all episodes at once. That’s binge watching to my understanding on Netflix, but I dunno what would be deemed first. Orange is New Black, House of Cards? Probably something earlier than that...
Old 06-16-19, 09:39 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,331
Received 119 Likes on 106 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

Do you have a precise definition of "binge watching" ?

For example, does it included stuff like watching the CSI marathons on the Spike basic cable channel back in the mid-late 2000s ?
Old 06-16-19, 09:53 PM
  #3  
Moderator
 
dex14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 38,683
Likes: 0
Received 2,592 Likes on 1,776 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

House of Cards.
Old 06-16-19, 10:22 PM
  #4  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
Thread Starter
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 45,399
Received 453 Likes on 403 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

No I don’t have clinical definition, but I would think binge comes from a newer release series and older release while still you binge watch, it’s like a double meaning. Or the older is binging, but came after. I think. Huh?
Old 06-16-19, 10:41 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 19,191
Received 381 Likes on 280 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

"Binge watch" as a term didn't take off until March 2013. This would be close to the premiere of House of Cards in February of 2013:
https://trends.google.com/trends/exp...=binge%20watch

That appears to be the year that the term caught on, since this article mentions that it was almost the OED's "word of the year" for 2013, defined as "watch[ing] multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/entertai...-binge/283844/

But binge watching occurred before that. This article from 2011 refers to "Serialized viewing online," before finally calling it binge watching later in the article
https://www.washingtonpost.com/enter...=.428f9263c74d
Serialized viewing online is transforming the landscape of television production and consumption. It has exposed old series to a new generation and is emerging as an inexpensive production home...

Thompson said many of his students don’t even have TV sets, but “they’re still watching a whole lot of television. . . . They’ll hear from a friend about some show from 10 years ago, and they’ll plow through every season of it: box sets, Netflix, online.”

...This “binge watching,” as Thompson calls it, is increasingly popular on campuses.

“There is no experience quite comparable to getting a really good show and getting the box-set seasons lined up, locking your door, filling your freezer full of microwaveable food, turning off the telephone, turning out the lights and just going crazy,” says Thompson.
But if you put aside the term itself, there was binge watching done earlier, it just wasn't called that yet.

This 2010 article from CNN refers to TV marathons watched via DVD:
Fans run the TV show marathon, cram episodes on DVD - CNN.com

The widespread popularity of DVD TV season sets is what spawned the first "on-demand" marathon viewings or binges. I remember binging both LOST and House season 1 DVDs to get caught up on the shows and start watching them in real time, so those viewings would've been in 2005. The Sopranos was still on the air then. Someone could consider it the first show they binged if the bought the DVD sets as they came out and watched them, or waited until the show was over and watched all the DVD sets at once.

Prior to DVD, people could've done on-demand marathon viewings with VHS, but pre-recorded VHS releases of TV shows were rare and expensive ($20 per tape for 2 hours of content, so 2 or 4 episodes of a show), so not many people owned full seasons or full series, and rental stores typically didn't rent out shows. I remember around 1998-1999 a local independent rental store had tapes of full anime series like Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion, so we'd rent and watch those one after the other, likely two at a time (the store had a lot of 2 for 1 rental offers) over the course of a week or so.

Prior to that though, there's always been marathon showings of syndicated reruns on TV. MST3K had the "Turkey Day" marathons starting in 1991.
https://mst3k.fandom.com/wiki/Turkey_Day

The Twilight Zone has gotten New Years Eve marathons dating back to the mid 80s on local channels.
https://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/the-...iday-tradition

One recent marathon of note to me was that somewhere in the middle of season one of Arrested Development, I think Spring of 2004, FX ran a marathon of the episodes that had aired so far on a weekend day. I had been mildly interested in the show, so while flipping channels I stopped on the marathon, watched it to the end, and then marked my DVR to start recording new episodes on FOX.
Old 06-16-19, 10:59 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Boise
Posts: 3,361
Likes: 0
Received 25 Likes on 7 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

For me, it was the first season of 24. The ratings weren’t great, so Fox put the first season on DVD incredibly cheap right after the season finale. It was so cheap (like $25) that I blind bought it. Watched the whole thing in a couple days.
Old 06-16-19, 11:00 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 19,191
Received 381 Likes on 280 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

BTW, Lilyhammer on Netflix has House of Cards beat by about a year, with Netflix releasing the entire first season on their service in February 2012:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilyhammer

That show may or may not count though, since while it was the US premiere, NRK in Norway started airing the show two weeks prior, although the fact that Neflix released all the episodes at one meant US viewers could binge the show before all the episodes had aired on NRK.
Old 06-16-19, 11:13 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 60,810
Received 2,869 Likes on 1,885 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

I would say that while Netflix was the first to put up entire seasons of its original programming all at once, the term probably started when people could stream an entire season or run of a show all at one sitting. The first time I heard the term was in conjunction with Breaking Bad. That's a show whose early seasons were not widely viewed. By the end of its run, it was enormously popular. . A huge chunk of that show's success is due to being on Netflix
Old 06-16-19, 11:56 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
B5Erik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Southern California
Posts: 12,579
Received 254 Likes on 208 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

Firefly, maybe?

It was a ratings disappointment, but a big hit on DVD. A lot of people watched the whole season in a day or three. That was, what? 2002 or 2003?
Old 06-17-19, 12:36 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,454
Received 163 Likes on 128 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

I agree that 24 Season 1 was the first binge watching experience. How so? On Labor Day 2002, FX channel ran the whole first season starting at a midnight broadcast. So basically “real time” in accordance with the first season of the show.


The season 1 DVD set arrived a couple weeks later, which people binged once word of mouth went around about the show.

Last edited by MLBFan24; 06-17-19 at 12:43 AM.
Old 06-17-19, 12:59 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
PhantomStranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Phantom Zone
Posts: 25,421
Received 449 Likes on 386 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

Networks used to run all-day marathons of the same show years ago, mostly on holidays, long before anyone had ever heard of Netflix. Those were often binged.
Old 06-17-19, 02:09 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Crocker Jarmen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 7,339
Received 122 Likes on 93 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

The term "binge-watching" may not have been used until the last few years, but I'd say the process began with the release of DVD season sets. With VHS, it was too cumbersome and expensive to release entire series, but DVD made it easier and much more shows started coming out that way. As someone who had lived their whole watching shows one week at a time, I remember how exciting it was to get Season One and Two of Six Feet Under and watching them in a couple of days. I'd never before had the experience of finishing an episode of a brand new show, and being able to watch the next one right away. It was an entirely new experience, and while it may sound quaint now, it was exciting! I wanted to savour them, watch one a day, but it was like being a little kid with a whole box of chocolates, and I couldn't help myself from watching another, and another, and another. This was common talk around the office, people being groggy in the morning, complaining "My wife and I got The Sopranos DVDs and wound up watching five episodes in a row until 3 in the morning."
Old 06-17-19, 05:46 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 8,199
Likes: 0
Received 103 Likes on 70 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

I associate binge watching with serialization and the feeling of having to watch the next episode RIGHT NOW!. Gotta see what happens next. Like reading a book. One more chapter and then it's quits, then it becomes another chapter then quits. Like a book you can't put down. First time that I experienced that was with 24 on DVD.
Old 06-17-19, 06:20 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 4,754
Received 130 Likes on 114 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

I first binge-watched series on DVD (via Netflix rentals). I'd hear about a show that I didn't watch and then catch up when it was on DVD. I first watched "Mad Men" and "Damages" that way. Also, some HBO series like "Rome" and "Carnivale" because I didn't subscribe in those days.
Old 06-17-19, 06:29 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shannon Nutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 17,857
Received 167 Likes on 134 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

Originally Posted by sherm42 View Post
For me, it was the first season of 24. The ratings weren’t great, so Fox put the first season on DVD incredibly cheap right after the season finale. It was so cheap (like $25) that I blind bought it. Watched the whole thing in a couple days.
Same here. I didn't watch Season 1 on Fox, but I binged the DVD of Season 1 in a few days and got hooked.

But the House of Cards thing seems about right, as the idea of "binge" watching (at least as a term) really didn't come around until Netflix started dumping complete seasons of shows all at once.
Old 06-17-19, 06:46 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Columbia, MD, USA
Posts: 11,218
Received 12 Likes on 10 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

Originally Posted by sherm42 View Post
For me, it was the first season of 24. The ratings weren’t great, so Fox put the first season on DVD incredibly cheap right after the season finale. It was so cheap (like $25) that I blind bought it. Watched the whole thing in a couple days.
This is pretty much my first experience as well. I was somewhat interested in the show, but missed the beginning of it. So I just didn't watch it as it aired. Ended up getting the DVD set and (somewhat unintentionally) ended up watching the entire season over a weekend.
Old 06-17-19, 06:51 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: MA
Posts: 7,548
Received 145 Likes on 117 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

Old 06-17-19, 10:21 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 24,518
Received 100 Likes on 65 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

The Sopranos for me
Old 06-17-19, 10:41 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Gateway Cities/Harbor Region
Posts: 60,641
Received 804 Likes on 540 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

Ist thing I thought of when I read this title was "The Sopranos" as well. I feel like that's when the whole "binge watching" thing became a "thing" and also when I first started hearing the term.
Old 06-17-19, 10:48 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mike86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 22,971
Received 695 Likes on 570 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

I never really watched either, but the first time I heard the term coined was either House of Cards or Orange is the New Black.

I suppose marathons count as binging to a degree. I kind of consider that different though. The first show I think I binged on DVD was Six Feet Under. Got really into it and watched the full series pretty fast.
Old 06-17-19, 12:44 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
funkyryno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,361
Received 187 Likes on 104 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

I'll echo what others said. Binging became a thing with the release of complete seasons on DVD. HBO shows like The Sopranos, Deadwood, Six Fee Under, etc were my introduction. I don't think the phrase entered popular vernacular until Netflix streaming started catching on in popularity.

I suppose marathons count as binging to a degree. I kind of consider that different though.
I do remember binging The Prisoner as a child one weekend during a PBS marathon of the show.
Old 06-17-19, 02:07 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
JimRochester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Rochester, NY. USA
Posts: 18,009
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

I can remember some marathons from decades ago on cable. Probably when DVD sets started to hit people did it without considering it binge watching.
Old 06-17-19, 02:31 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mike86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 22,971
Received 695 Likes on 570 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

Originally Posted by funkyryno View Post
I'll echo what others said. Binging became a thing with the release of complete seasons on DVD. HBO shows like The Sopranos, Deadwood, Six Fee Under, etc were my introduction. I don't think the phrase entered popular vernacular until Netflix streaming started catching on in popularity.



I do remember binging The Prisoner as a child one weekend during a PBS marathon of the show.
Yeah, I guess what I meant is if it’s like a marathon of random episodes I don’t necessarily consider that binging. To me binge watching is watching chunks of an entire season at a time in order.
Old 06-17-19, 02:43 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 43,259
Received 599 Likes on 483 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

For me it was when USA started running 12 hour blocks of Law and Order SVU and House.
Old 06-17-19, 03:51 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Formerly known as Groucho AND Bandoman/Death Moans, Iowa
Posts: 17,973
Received 241 Likes on 172 Posts
Re: Is there one show that is credited as the first “binge” watching show?

I think Breaking Bad got big boosts due to people binging it on Netflix. But yeah, Law & Order marathons certainly seemed to be a thing going back to the 1930s or whenever that show started.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.