Rapid Insights: The Continental Brings Big John Wick Action to the Small Screen

The wildly successful John Wick film franchise has expanded to the small screen with the release of Peacock’s buzzy new three-episode event series, the finale of which arrives on Friday. Starring Mel Gibson and Colin Woodell, the action-thriller show serves as a prequel to the movies and explores the origins of their centerpiece ‘hotel for assassins’ in 1970s New York.

Here’s what you need to know about The Continental: From the World of John Wick:

Vault uses index scores to describe the impact a given story/theme/element will have on specific KPIs: 
≤79 Disappointing  80-89 Challenging  90-109 Average  110-119 Promising  120+ Outstanding

Who’s tuning in for this John Wick spin-off?
We’re seeing a mostly male (69%), mostly older (61% aged 30+) audience, a viewership profile roughly similar to the franchise’s four theatrical films. This makes the series notably more male but also notably younger than other recent action-heavy streaming shows like Terminal List, Citadel, Special Ops: Lioness, Jack Ryan, The Night Agent, and Rabbit Hole (collectively, 52-66% male and 67-74% aged 30+).

How important is the John Wick franchise in driving viewership?
Very. The show’s links to John Wick lore–it depicts an earlier era of the films’ famed Continental Hotel and a decades-younger version of a central character–help its bingeability (IP Extension, 134) and contribute to its social buzz (117). In addition, the thrillingly over-the-top, Stylized Action & Violence (134) that the films are known for is the series’ top ratings driver.

What are the stickiest story ideas for audiences?
The Power Struggle (135) between rival organizations. After his estranged brother steals a valuable piece of equipment, (relatively) innocent protagonist Winston Scott becomes caught up in a violent clash between two ruthless bodies of assassins, putting his Life in Danger (126); he assembles his own team of hitmen (Teamwork, 113) to fight back with a vengeance (Seeking Revenge, 112). All are key drivers of viewership. In addition, the show’s Distinctly Realized World (118), where assassins are the norm and the rules of society don’t apply, and its 1970s NYC Setting (118) help create a vividly compelling viewing experience.

How is the show’s level of online chatter?
Strong. The series maxed out our social buzz meter (at 160) with its first episode release two weeks ago and has remained high ever since, a pattern resembling similar action series The Terminal List, Citadel, and Jack Ryan. Viewers are talking and tweeting about The Continental’s wide-ranging guest list of hitmen and assassins from all over the world (Cultural Diversity, 122) as well as its connections to the John Wick movies.

What kind of viewing experience is drawing in viewers?
A visceral one. The Continental’s adrenaline-pumping, shoot-’em-up style of hitman action is leaving audiences on the edge of their seats and reveling in emotions like Awe (120)Fear (120), and Surprise (114) as they watch the assassin-on-assassin battles unfold.


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*Publicly released trailers for series are evaluated using Vault’s algorithms – utilizing our proprietary 120K+ story element database alongside ratings performance and other datasets – to identify unique combinations of stories, themes, characters, and genre elements that will drive success.

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