The Sandman debuts at #1

The Sandman debuts at #1 on the Netflix global chart

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The Sandman debuts at #1 in the Netflix Top 10 — when will we get a season 2 announcement?

With a thirty year wait and the personal involvement of writer Neil Gaiman, The Sandman arrived on the small screen on Friday, 5 August. Ever ready with the data, the Netflix Top 10 shows a debut at #1, beating last week’s leader, Virgin River, into second place. [If you’re a follower of our regular Nielsen feature, don’t forget those numbers are a few weeks behind.] It’s a good result, but is it good enough? Time will tell, but let’s have a little context…

The numbers

On debut, so just Friday – Sunday, The Sandman clocked up 69,480,000 hours viewing worldwide. Virgin River on its week #3 gathered 46,930,000 hours, but on its debut managed 105,440,000 hours. This is way in excess of The Sandman but bear in mind this is for season 4 of the romantic drama, which has built a fan base over the seasons. If we scroll back through the Netflix data, we see The Umbrella Academy season 3 debut with 124,530,000 hours and Stranger Things season 4 was watched for a massive 286,790,000 hours when it came to the small screen following pandemic delays.

So what does this all mean? Will there be a Sandman season 2?

There’s been no confirmation, but we know there’s interest in adapting the whole saga (we’ve only had a slice in the first ten episodes). We expect there will be (at least) a season 2, and imagine an announcement will come in the next few weeks. We’re very keen to see next week’s numbers, the first with seven days viewing, and we also wonder how many of the views so far are fans of the comic books. It’s important the show spreads by word of mouth and stays high in the numbers for some time. It’s a heavily marketed, CGI rich show and needs an audience.

We also think making the all time 28 day chart would be a milestone, but the show currently at #10 after 28 days is The Witcher season 2 (a total of 484,340,000 hours), and we’ll be tracking The Sandman figures against that.

Any other news on the show’s future?

Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine
Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine

There’s a lot of fan talk and even support from Neil himself for a spin-off centred on the Jenna Coleman Hellblazer character Johanna Constantine. Without spoiling too far, the single episode she features in is one of the strongest of the 10 in our opinion, and Coleman is sensational. It’s among the best we’ve seen from the star of many series (The Serpent, Victoria, Doctor Who) and would align well with what many observers believe is Netflix’s need to develop more shared universe franchises.

We’d love a joint announcement for both Hellblazer and The Sandman season 2 — we’ll keep you posted!