HomeTelevisionThe Sandman Isn’t Cancelled, and it Isn’t #1 on the Entire Planet,...

The Sandman Isn’t Cancelled, and it Isn’t #1 on the Entire Planet, Either

OK, so, yeah, it’s not anywhere near a fact that THE SANDMAN is “the number one streaming show on the planet including all streamers everywhere showing everything, according to Nielsen” so you kids need to stop repeating that. You sound like cult members. The reason Neil is saying you need to keep bingeing it to keep it up there is because nobody knows how streamers count their eyeballs internally. Chances are the numbers are fine-toothed combed to who is watching what when and how long they last when they’re sampling and when they kick out at what timecode or when they call up the next ep or when they get fired from their job because they’re still trying to finish the Christmas run of NAILED IT or whatever. Point is, it’s all internal, and no other streamers and studios share their internal metrics with each other.

It’s not Nielsen reporting this, for example: “Drawing upon figures supplied by data science company Parrot Analytics, The Wrap reports that THE SANDMAN drummed up ‘23.8 times the demand of the average series’ following its Aug. 5 premiere. This number was determined by compiling a range of engagement statistics, including consumer research, streaming, downloads and social media activity.’

So Parrot Analytics makes Rotten Tomatoes look like a peer-reviewed issue of NATURE, and saying “demand” is a mishmash of “consumer research, streaming, downloads and social media activity” is a wackadoodle set of metrics bordering on “Forget it; Jake; it’s just Chinatown,” and, honestly, what do you get at the end of THAT? Not numbers you can compare to other numbers, because nobody has any. Parrot Analytics comes out and says they’re adding “research” and “social media activity” as markers and somehow turning that into objective numbers. SANDMAN is 23.8 times higher “demand” of the average series, even though we’re comparing “average series” to “Four decades-in-the-making adaptation of beloved, career-making narrative” which isn’t exactly the same thing.

Good on SANDMAN for being an entertaining adaptation that satisfies the audience, but let’s all keep a grasp on the nature of its “success.” Sure, the focus groups think it’s gangbusters, but the focus group pool is a bunch of nerds who can take the day off from playing GTA XII or whatever and go get that sweet sweet focus group Amazon gift card and catered Subway swag for six hours of staring at a TV they were going to do anyway. If your group is all wearing HELLFIRE CLUB shirts from Merchoid, maybe your feedback isn’t going to be the most balanced. And how do you weight “social media activity” into a quantifiable “demand” you can use to move forward with good business decisions? SANDMAN IS GREAT and SANDMAN MISOGYNIST GATEKEEPING are still two points to Griffyndor if you’re just counting “social media activity.”

Answer is, though: you can’t. Unless you’re running a studio, you have no idea what’s going on and it’s nutty you guys fall for this nonsense. If you want season two of SANDMAN, watch the hell out of it. Put it on and leave the house when you get groceries. Tell all your buddies, start a fan club, dress up like your favorite characters, put on The Cure, and go nuts. It’s 68 days until Halloween, but if you’re a fan of Neil’s stuff, isn’t every day Halloween?

But that’s how you get more Sandman; not by listening to Parrot Analytics and Rotten Tomatoes and their quackery. Expertise used to be prized, and now it’s not. If you guys don’t get SANDMAN S2, you know whose fault it is.

Larry Young
Larry Young
Larry Young is a writer: non-fiction, graphic novels, and pop culture criticism. His work has appeared in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, VARIETY, and THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION. A frequent guest on the video podcasts MILLION DOLLAR MAILBOX and WORD BALLOONS, he’s also co-host of SERIOUS STAR TREK and the sister YouTube channel of this website.


  1. Love this, Larry. You write how people actually speak and think. You’re use of language sincerely thrills me. Thanks for proving YET AGAIN that the masses don’t deserve you. You’re amazing!


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