‘Tis The Season…For Seinfeld
By Peter Naylor
Seinfeld: it’s a show about nothing. But for a show about nothing there’s something about Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer – and of course Newman – that have veteran and newcomer fans alike tuning in almost twenty years after the show’s finale. That’s right, you, you and yada yada yada.
Today there are plenty of lists ranking all 180 Seinfeld episodes, from the best Seinfeld episodes of all time to the most underrated – and let us not forget ‘The 10 Essential Elaine Episodes.’ While devoted Seinfeld fans have been debating which episodes should be named “best of” for almost two decades, we’ve decided to put an end to this bone of contention – just in time for Festivus!
In preparation for this year’s Feats of Strength, Hulu Insights took a deep dive into Seinfeld viewing, pulling viewership data since June 2015 to identify quintessential, fan-favorite Seinfeld episodes. We found that viewing of “The Strike,” which featured and popularized Festivus, increased by over 150% during the month of December last year. Viewers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle were most likely to tune in to the Festivus celebration, making up close to 25% of all episode views.
“The Strike” is also the most-watched episode of Seinfeld in the month of December, with viewers more than twice as likely to watch than in any other month. In fact, on December 23rd, the day of Festivus, the episode saw 17 times the number of average views than any other day during the six months prior or afterward … proving Festivus is really a “holiday for the rest of us.”
Several other episodes also bubbled to the top. With the linear trend as a base-line for viewership, we were able to identify the following six clear Seinfeld fan-favorites – episodes showing a significant spike in viewership compared to the show’s average:
We also found that viewership of Seinfeld tends to be linear, not episodic, whereby Season 3 viewership settles in and remains steady through the finale. Viewers are watching Seinfeld in the same way they would a long-form narrative program, starting at the beginning and working their way through episode by episode, season by season.
So get out your unadorned aluminum Festivus Pole, prepare to air your grievances, and curl up with your favorite Seinfeld episode on Hulu. And remember: Festivus miracles do happen!
Source: Hulu Internal, Seinfeld 6/1/15– 10/31/16