Netflix Series ‘Echoes’ Is #1, and That’s Just Not Good Enough

With the Netflix bar for #1 suddenly at 36.58 million hours, "Cobra Kai" season 5 cannot come too soon.
Echoes. (L to R) Michelle Monaghan as Leni McCleary, Jonathan Tucker as Dylan in episode 105 of Echoes. Cr. Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix © 2022
Echoes. (L to R) Michelle Monaghan as Leni McCleary, Jonathan Tucker as Dylan in episode 105 of "Echoes."

Netflix limited series “Echoes” landed 36.58 million hours viewed from August 29-September 4, according to the streamer. That’s good enough to rank number one for the final week of summer among Netflix’s English-language TV shows — but it’s just plain not good enough.

For any individual title, being number one on Netflix is an impressive feat. The Netflix library has 17,000 pieces of content, more than half of which are originals or exclusives. However, quality and quantity — for both subs and for programming — are getting harder to come by.

The streamer began sharing its weekly Top 10 in late June/early July 2021. Of the 62 weeks Netflix has measured thus far, by our count 42 had a number-one show with more than twice the viewership of “Echoes” last week. As recent as a month ago (and several other times this summer), this “Echoes” performance wouldn’t have even made the Top 5.

Meanwhile, a pair of non-English-language shows outperformed “Echoes” by some distance. South Korea’s “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” saw 48.82 million hours in its ninth week on the Top 10, and  Mexico’s “High Heat” scored 44.05 million hours. Outside of streaming blockbusters like “Squid Game,” “Money Heist,” “All of Us Are Dead,” English-language shows usually dominate streaming hours.

Netflix is under an enormous pressure to continue to churn out hits, and to avoid churn — the loss of subscribers. But penetration has maxed out in key (read: rich) markets like the U.S. and Canada, and a major loss of company valuation (and investor confidence) means Netflix can no longer afford to spend as freely as it once did.

The third week of “Echoes” availability is the third-lowest weekly tally for a top Netflix show. It’s just shy of number two, which was week two of “Lost in Space” season 3; it drew 35.82 million hours on December 6-12, 2021.

The week leading up to Labor Day 2022 was the second straight for “Echoes” at number one. The limited series peaked during the prior week with 68.49 million hours viewed. So while “Echoes” is no dud, it was definitely an off-week for Netflix’s English-language TV offerings.

The worst week for a top-ranking English-language series on Netflix was August 16-22, 2021, when “Outer Banks” season 2 topped the list with 31.80 million hours viewed. That’s dismal for a Netflix number one, but “Outer Banks” season 2 had more than 100 million hours viewed in each of its first two weeks. It burned very bright, very quickly — and Netflix had nothing strong to back it up.

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver, Courtney Henggeler as Amanda Larusso in Cobra Kai.
Cobra Kai. (L to R) Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver, Courtney Henggeler as Amanda Larusso in “Cobra Kai”Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

A holiday weekend dedicated to soaking in the end of summer (Netflix’s Monday-Sunday week cut off before actual Labor Day) is not particularly conducive to binge viewing. Still, during the comparable week last year, Netflix limited series “Clickbait” led the same chart with 76.54 million hours viewed in its second week, with NBC drama “Good Girls” season 4 number two with 37.58 million hours viewed on Netflix — still more than “Echoes.” That same week, season 5 of hit international series “Money Heist” bowed to more than 200 million hours viewed, dominating the service in any language.

“Echoes” is a mystery thriller about two identical twins, Leni and Gina, who share a dangerous secret. Since they were children, Leni and Gina (both played by Michelle Monaghan) have secretly swapped lives, culminating in a double life as adults: they share two homes, two husbands, and a child but everything in their perfectly choreographed world is thrown into disarray when one of the sisters goes missing. The limited series also stars Matt Bomer, Daniel Sunjata, Karen Robinson, Jonathan Tucker, and Ali Stroker.

Thank goodness “Cobra Kai” is coming back for a fifth season this Friday. A cheaper, ad-supported Netflix will launch as soon as November, and while that will boost the global sub count, it will drag down the company’s average revenue per user, or ARPU.

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