Loudermilk is the Latest Smash-Hit Show That Netflix Pulled Out of Obscurity




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Netflix continues to be a hit maker — turning an older, little-watched Canadian comedy-drama called Loudermilk and turning it into a smash hit in less than a month.

In December, Loudermilk, which stars Ron Livingston (Office Space), ranked 828th out of all streaming programs when it was available on Amazon Prime Video, according to streaming guide Reelgood. In January, the show ranked 9th, according to the company.

The spike in its ranking is indicative of the power that Netflix and its platform has on driving eyeballs to shows that languished on other platforms. Suits, an older USA Network show that premiered in 2011, was the top-ranked streaming show last year because it was on the streaming service (it was available on Peacock too). Karate Kid spin-off Cobra Kai was also another niche hit on YouTube’s premium service that didn’t explode until it arrived on Netflix.

“The Loudermilk example illustrates that having great content alone isn’t enough—streaming services need to invest in making people aware of the great content they have,” said David Sanderson, CEO of Reelgood. “Investing in awareness and engagement—especially where people are making decisions as to what to watch, is crucial in the streaming wars of 2024.”

Loudermilk, however, was helped with a sizable social presence thanks to the “coffee shop” scene, which made the rounds on Reddit, TikTok, YouTube, and other platforms for the past year. There are even explainers written about that scene.

In short, the scene, found in the first episode of the second season, has title character Sam Loudermilk, an acerbic former music critic and recovering alcoholic, calling out the inflection in a female coffee attendant’s voice. The short interaction gives a good taste of the rest of the show, and chances are you probably watched it without even realizing where it came from.

The cast also included Will Sasso, Anja Savcic, and Laura Mennell, and the show was created by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Mort.

The show premiered on the AT&T Audience Network back when the telecom company was in media, while Amazon picked it up for the third season. It didn’t find an audience until this year, when Netflix took a chance on it.

Image credit: Sony Pictures Television

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