Science Fiction And Fantasy Are Now Netflix’s Top Genre

Science Fiction And Fantasy Are Now Netflix’s Top Genre
01 May

netflix stranger things

TV research firm Ampere Analysis has determined that Netflix’s #1 genre is science fiction and fantasy, at least as far as the first quarter of 2018 is concerned.  Fueled by smash series like ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Black Mirror’, ‘Altered Carbon’ and the just-released (and heavily hyped) ‘Lost In Space’ and original movies like ‘The Titan’, ‘Mute’, ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ and ‘Annihilation’*, the sci-fi genre has pulled ahead of Netflix’s former ruling category, comedy.  (I guess my non-stop binging of ‘Parks & Recreation’ didn’t make enough of an impact.)  (*’Annihilation’ was released in theaters in the U.S. and China, but went straight-to-Netflix everywhere else.)

Altered Carbon

Those are just the original sci-fi titles.  Fantasy entries include the heavily streamed, but controversial ‘Bright’ from director David Ayer last fall, which set records for views.  And Netflix offers a slew of programming that isn’t exclusive to the service, including shows from The CW (‘The 100’, all the DC superhero shows), Syfy (‘The Magicians’) as well as gems from the vault– everything from ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Armageddon’ and ‘Men in Black’ to the ‘Sharknado’ franchise and ‘Space Buddies’.  That doesn’t even include animated series like ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ and a vast assortment of anime.  Also, technically, the Marvel-based original shows, ‘Daredevil’, ‘Jessica Jones’, ‘Luke Cage’, ‘Iron Fist’, ‘The Defenders’ and ‘The Punisher’ all sort of fit, even if they aren’t as outlandish as other similar titles.


In the past decade or so, hard sci-fi hasn’t been the draw that it once was, giving ground to more comic book-based entertainment.  But gradually, films like ‘The Martian’, ‘Gravity’, ‘Arrival’ and most recently the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, ‘The Shape of Water’ have raised the genre above B-movie level, with the films’ creators exploring the genre while still striving for excellence.  (The same can be said about sci-fi’s sibling category horror.)

According to Ampere, in the coming years, sci-fi and fantasy will account for 29% of Netflix’s original programming–more than any other genre.

‘Black Mirror’ originated on the BBC but is now Netflix exclusive with more on the way.  ‘Stranger Things’ is expected to last for four or five seasons.  And the creators of ‘Lost In Space’ are already mapping out a second season.

Are you enjoying the variety of sci-fi and fantasy programming that Netflix is delivering?

Jason Motes

Jason’s earliest memory is of watching ‘Batman,’ followed shortly by a memory of playing Batman & Robin with a friend, which entailed running outside in just their underwear and towels as capes. When adults told them they couldn’t run around outside in their underwear, both boys promptly whipped theirs off and ran around in just capes. Jason’s father gamely agreed to read him comic books as bedtime stories instead of ‘Snow White.’ (Super Friends being his favorite.) Jason saw all of the original Star Wars movies (and Indiana Jones and Superman and Star Trek…) in the theaters. Yes, he is old. And grew up in the most GEEKTASTIC decade ever, the 80s, devouring a steady diet of GI Joe, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, Princess of Power and (best of all) Jem! (It totally counts as sci fi! They had a sentient computer that projected holograms!) Jason has studied literature, journalism, film history and has a degree in creative writing (and a minor in psychology) from the University of South Alabama. He has worked as a technical writer and proofreader. These days, most of his creative energy goes into his blog and writing for this site! He lives with the cutest puppies ever.



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