Netflix is starting to do things a little differently, at least when it comes to measuring the success (or failure) of its programming. In the past, the streamer looked at the number of hours each program was viewed, which was a flawed metric that didn’t take into consideration the fact that series with longer runtimes would automatically have a better chance at the top spot. Season 4 of Stranger Things, for instance, clocked in at 13 hours total while Season 4 of Never Have I Ever is less than five hours in its entirety. Even multiple seasons of the comedy barely match up to the sci-fi drama.
The new system, which was first reported on June 20, gives shows of any length a fair shot. Now “views” are calculated by total views divided by runtime, and already the difference is evident. Last week’s report showed Never Have I Ever bumping the final season of Manifest, which has a runtime of more than 15 hours, from the top spot (Manifest ranked seventh). And Netflix is widening its reporting window by 63 days, allowing audiences more time to build. The combination of the two changes can only help the smaller, scrappier shows that often gain a following over time get the recognition — and in turn, renewals — that they deserve.
It all bodes well for new releases coming out in July, the first full month these new systems will be in place. The streamer’s debuts included the highly anticipated second part of The Witcher Season 3 plus Michelle Buteau’s semi-autobiographical comedy based on her book of the same name, Survival of the Thickest (more on that later). Here are seven more can’t-miss Netflix originals to watch next month.
This documentary from director Chris Smith (Tiger King, Bad Vegan, Fyre) follows the pop duo’s rise to fame and challenges with success once “Wham!mania” swept the country. Smith pieces together never-before-heard interviews with the late George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley to allow them to tell their story in their own words, even posthumously in the case of George Michael.
Mickey Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) is back behind the wheel and on the case in the second season of David E. Kelley’s hit legal drama. This season is set to follow the fourth book in Michael Connelly’s Lincoln Lawyer series, The Fifth Witness, with Haller defending a long-standing client (and love interest by the looks of the trailer) Lisa Trammell (Lana Parrilla). Just as in the first season, there will be some modern twists, like the introduction of a true-crime podcast host played by Matt Angel (Dave), but expect the story to stay true to the source material.
Netflix is building a reputation as a go-to streamer for high-quality sports docuseries, and this one from executive producer Peyton Manning keeps that going. The series follows Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, and Marcus Mariota during the 2022-2023 NFL season, which just so happened to culminate in Mahomes winning the Super Bowl and earning the title of MVP. It’s unprecedented access to not only the league at large, but one of the sports world’s biggest games.
Watch out, horny singles, the sentient air freshener known as Lana is back to ruin the vibe. A group of sexy young people head to an island where they think they’re going to spend the summer getting laid only to find out that there are consequences for even kissing. It will be interesting to see how this batch of hotties adjusts to the rule change now that the show is well known, not to mention what ridiculous fake dating show will start off the ruse.
Season 2 of the romantic drama ended with plenty of bombshells, with an arrest, a proposal, an inheritance, and more making waves in Serenity. And according to the series’s stars, Season 3 will pick up right where Season 2 left off, only this time with potentially even more drama. “At this point, I'm completely addicted to the drama,” star JoAnna Garcia Swisher told US Weekly. I'm like, 'Bring it on. What else can we do?' I just want all of it to be 10 times more emotional.”
Jason Ritter, Christopher Meloni, Lesley-Ann Brandt, and Anthony Carrigan voice the leads in this adult animated comedy from Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen (Norsemen). Ritter stars as the titular character, who finished last in his naval academy class and unwittingly becomes the captain of a cartel’s smuggling ship. From there, shenanigans and animated violence ensue!
Netflix goes a little tongue-in-cheek with this true-crime offering. The documentary is presented as a guide for how viewers can gain their own sycophantic following, and in the process explores the rise (and demise) of six prominent cult leaders.
Look for more promising premieres from Netflix and other programmers in our monthly preview, running on June 29. You can check out a complete list of Netflix’s comings and goings here.
Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.