Our Flag Means Death has not been renewed for a second season yet, but there are plenty of statistics out there that show that it should be.
As fans of the show, we know why we want it renewed. Our Flag Means Death is hilarious, but heartfelt, providing meaningful representation for the LBGTQ+ community while telling a fun and fantastic story. This in and of itself should be enough, but the reality of the situation is that a lot more tends to be needed to earn a renewal.
Networks like numbers and statistics. They want to know the renewal will bring in viewers and make money. They want to be sure the money they are going to sink into something will be justified and make money in return. So hey, let’s put all those numbers together in one nice, neat little list, shall we?
Here are the hard numbers showing why Our Flag Means Death should get a second season.
Unseated Book of Boba Fett as the Most In-Demand Show
A data analysis group, Parrot Analytics, has ranked Our Flag Means Death as the most “in demand” show in the United States after its finale. Parrot Analytics takes a lot of different things into account when calculating demand. It looks at streaming numbers, social media activity, fan and critics ratings, and so much more. It’s designed to give a broad overlook that represents as many people as possible. Per their website, it represents audience demand for approximately 2 billion people globally.
This high ranking unseated the Book of Boba Fett, which had been on top of the list for three months. The fact that this show beat anything related to Star Wars is in and of itself incredibly impressive. But it didn’t just beat it. It blew it completely out of the water.
According to their numbers taking in all these different data points, the popularity of the show surged by 33% after the finale aired. It’s currently ranked in the top 0.2% of shows in the United States. In fact, it’s currently more popular than HBO mainstays such as Euphoria.
“Based entirely on original storytelling without any ties to pre-existing properties, Our Flag Means Death has found truly impressive success, demonstrating the power authentic queer and sincere storytelling can have on audiences globally.” – Julia Alexander, Senior Strategy Analyst at Parrot Analytics
Our Flag Means Death on Rotten Tomatoes
Our delightful little show currently has a 90% critics rating and 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Anyone who follows rankings on RT can tell you that there are frequently pretty large discrepancies between what audiences love and what critics love. In this case, both are absolutely charmed with the series.
It is currently Certified Fresh. This is a special ranking given to shows or movies based on the duration of their high ranking, the number of top critics reviewing the property, and certain requirements regarding minimum numbers of reviews. Our Flag Means Death has met this criteria and maintained a high enough ranking to earn this designation.
“Our Flag Means Death is one of the most unique comedies bobbing out in the ocean of scripted television right now. It brings the laughs, the subversion, and the misty eyes in equal measure.” –Tara Bennett IGN Movies review excerpt on Rotten Tomatoes
Our Flag Means Death on IMDb
Our Flag Means Death currently has an 8.0/10 score on IMDb with almost 12,000 ratings submitted. When demographics are broken down, these statistics become even more compelling, especially among young audiences and women. The 18-29 demographic for women currently sits at a 9.0 while the 30-44 demographic sits at 8.6.
Having a gendered breakdown for rating for a show with a canon non-binary character and a largely queer audience is a bit of a struggle. It doesn’t do anything to show how popular it is with the gender nonconforming demographic, or even the broader queer community, who will be particularly drawn to the series. I would go out on a limb and say it’s pretty damn high with us, though.
While the under 18 crowd is not typically part of the key demographics for networks, it’s interesting to note that it’s even more popular with them than any other group. Men under 18 rank it on average as a 9.7 and women rank it as a 9.2. Sure, none of these people are paying for their own HBO subscriptions, but they are the future and shouldn’t be entirely dismissed. At the very least, this demographic is very good at creating buzz, and that’s important in the long run.
Top of Entertainment Weekly’s Must-Watch List
Entertainment Weekly placed the show at number 1 on its “Must List.” Of note here is that this ranking occurred in the last physically printed issue of the popular entertainment magazine, which is honestly pretty cool. Anyone who went out to buy the last issue for nostalgia reasons or whatever will see this. Hopefully, they’ll give it a go!
Our Flag Means Death is Dominating Twitter Fandom
One of the things Parrot Analytics monitors is social media activity, but I feel that the activity on Twitter deserves a special mention. The fandom there is going hard and making huge waves.
The #RenewOurFlagMeansDeath hashtag ranked as high as #3 globally on April 3rd, 2022. Since then, it’s continued to trend in the “Movies & TV Shows” category, showing up to many users as a curated trend. It has also accumulated over 20,000 unique tweets since the trending event began. Various individual character names also frequently trend under the “Entertainment” tab sporadically due to the ongoing discussions about them.
The official Our Flag Means Death Twitter account was created after the series ended, and has gained over 28,000 followers in just a little over two weeks. This is without any blue checkmarks or official links to HBO’s social networks, which makes this an interesting account to watch. If it got a blue check and some cross-promotion, that number would probably skyrocket. Most of us found it by word of mouth, after all, so the average viewer may not even know that the account exists yet.
Still, that’s 28,000 incredibly dedicated and plugged-in people who just happened to stumble across it. That’s pretty good.
Rapidly Growing Fanwork Community
Measuring a show by fanworks may seem strange, but I’ve spoken previously about how it’s actually a pretty good identifier of something’s general popularity (See: What Measures Cultural Relevance? The AO3 Fics/Box Office Algorithm). Fan content creators are out there keeping fandoms alive. They are a major presence on the convention circuit, where many of the most passionate fans tend to congregate. If you want buzz for your show with this passionate group of people, you want the fandom to be active.
Since the first season of the show ended, there have been on average 100 new fanfics published on AO3 per day. This is not common at all, unless you are one of the mega fandoms like Harry Potter, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or Supernatural. The latter fandom has currently fallen under 100 new fics per day, which means we’re actually beating a mega fandom right now. These numbers mean Our Flag Means Death has catapulted itself into one of the top fanfic-producing communities in just a couple weeks time.
Fan art is a little more difficult to track, but all you need to do is take a quick look at the #OurFlagMeansDeathfanart tag on Twitter to see how it’s doing. There’s at least a dozen, if not more, new pieces of art in that tag every hour.
HBO Max Should Probably Just Renew It
It’s confusing that a show with these types of numbers hasn’t been renewed yet. A lot of times, shows will be renewed before it’s even finished airing, so this has been somewhat concerning. That said, the popularity did spike after the show ended, so it’s possible that a renewal is still being worked out based on new data. Contracts take time, after all. So perhaps we shouldn’t be as worried as we are.
We shouldn’t stop working to get this show renewed, though. Until the contracts are signed, we need to keep pushing. Use these statistics, lists, and rankings to make a case, and get out there. And if you don’t know what to do, I’ve got some tips for you over here: 5 Things You Can Do For Our Flag Means Death Season 2
Good luck! Let’s get us a second season!
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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