Neil Gaiman Has Explained Why ‘The Sandman’ Has Topped Global Netflix Charts For Weeks, Yet Season 2’s Still A Tough Call

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Neil Gaiman fans should be peachy-keen pleased. We’ve received an ongoing The Sandman Audible production for the past few years, and now, the first season of the long-awaited Netflix show has turned out to be a streaming hit. The entire first batch of episodes is freaking gorgeous from both substantive and aesthetic viewpoints, and “The Sound Of Her Wings” turned out to be the most beautiful episode of TV so far this year.

The show’s also been sitting atop the Netflix Top 10 charts for over two weeks, and to celebrate, Gaiman announced a bonus episode that features a live-action “Calliope” installment, which is one of the most telling and hard-hitting issues (this is where I chuckle at how Marc Maron admitted that he used to view the comic as “journalism” during a drug-induced era) of the entire The Sandman comic. Did I mention that the show’s a worldwide streaming hit? As of late last week, a Netflix press release revealed that the show accrued “196.98 Million hours viewed since its debut” and sat atop 93 country charts. That includes Denmark, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, and France.

Will we get a second season though? Maybe, and the official explanation from Neil Gaiman is pretty simple: The Sandman costs a lot of money, and Netflix (which isn’t as able to pour dollars into shows at the moment) isn’t ready to shell that out yet. “Because Sandman is a really expensive show,” Gaiman revealed. “And for Netflix to release the money to let us make another season we have to perform incredibly well. So yes, we’ve been the top show in the world for the last two weeks. That still may not be enough.”

Binge watching appears to help the cause, as Neil seems to suggest.

So there you have it: Netflix is looking at the binging numbers, and those hours add up. The Verge previously reported that completion rate matters a lot when it comes to renewal, so if The Sandman fans thought that parceling out episodes each week was a good strategy for renewal, well, that’s not the case. They might as well binge it all and watch it again (I highly recommend this tactic).

Speaking of fans, horror author Joe Hill (who knows quite a bit about seeing his work on the streaming screens) urged Gaiman devotees to heed the call. “[I]f you were thinking of giving #Sandman a try, don’t wait,” he tweeted. “To use a horrid industry term, engagement matters, especially immediate, overwhelming engagement. We can have 5 – 7 seasons of this, but only if you show Netflix you want it.”

The Sandman‘s full first season (with bonus episode) is currently streaming on Netflix.


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