Rapid Insights: The Veil Engages with High Stakes and Global Thrills

Today, FX on Hulu is releasing the first two episodes of its compelling new spy thriller miniseries from the creator of Peaky Blinders. The show stars Elisabeth Moss as a slippery MI6 agent tasked with pursuing a suspected female terrorist and uncovering her secrets before it’s too late.

Here’s what you need to know about The Veil:

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 will be tuning in for this suspenseful drama? 
We’re predicting a viewership that leans toward men (53%) and skews heavily older (74% aged 30+). This tilt towards men–potentially because of the more intense violence–makes the show somewhat unusual among the list of thrillers that heavily feature female spies: the streaming audiences for Killing EveThe Americans, Hanna, NikitaCovert Affairs, and Alias all slanted toward women.

Why will viewers want to watch?
For the suspense. In the series, Moss’s Agent Imogen Salter–an erratic yet gifted chameleon who excels at undercover work–confidently puts her own Life in Danger (154) as she accepts a Dangerous Mission (125) to befriend a potential foreign terrorist and uncover essential secret information. Her relationship with the foreigner becomes increasingly fraught and loyalties become fluid (Betrayal, 132) as the situation–and the truth–become ever more complicated and lethal (Action & Violence, 139). All are top ratings drivers.

What type of viewing experience will audiences be looking for?
An intense one. The key emotional drivers for The Veil play up its suspense and tension and match the ethos of its challenging, complicated heroine. Viewers will be craving the sense of Fear (150)Anger (150)Aggressiveness (150), and Vigilance (146) brought on by its deadly central game of truth and lies, tempered by feelings of Awe (146) and Amazement (146) at Imogen’s expert abilities as an undercover spy.

What will keep audiences glued to their screens?
The tense Geopolitics (132). Behind Imogen’s covert mission is a knotty tangle of intergovernmental friction and one-upmanship among three countries’ central Espionage (133) agencies. Ruthless personalities within the CIA, the UK’s MI6, and France’s DGSE struggle for power and control while they pretend to cooperate in the face of an impending terrorist threat (Terrorism, 122), and it’s this government-based game of thrones that will keep viewers hooked. Looking back through StoryGuide, the idea of Geopolitics is a fairly rare viewership driver, even among other spy thrillers; The Veil joins only The Regime, Echo 3, The Undeclared WarVigil, Fauda, and Locked Up Abroad in the level of audience importance placed on the theme.

What’s the show’s biggest draw internationally?
Its global spy elements. The Veil offers up a strong international perspective, winding its story between the likes of Istanbul, London, and Paris, and it’s this global approach to espionage that will get non-US territories the most excited. This top driver shows the most promise in New Zealand (123)South Korea (120)Japan (112), and the UK (111), though France (107) seems a bit cooler toward the theme in spite of its own spy agency’s inclusion.


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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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