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How long it takes to binge 'The Office,' 'Game of Thrones,' and 50 other famous TV shows

  • Saturday Night Live

    - Time it takes to binge: 54 days, 12 hours

    Created by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol, “Saturday Night Live,” the late-night sketch comedy show, has been airing since 1975. Currently in its 45th season, “SNL” has helped launch the careers of some of comedy’s biggest stars, including Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Adam Sandler. Comedy aficionados could spend almost two months watching every “SNL” episode ever, or, in the same span of time, could summit Mount Everest.

  • Lost

    - Time it takes to binge: 5 days, 1 hours

    The year 2004 was big for ABC: “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “Grey’s Anatomy” all made their debuts at the beginning of the fall television season, revitalizing the network. “Lost” in particular, which lasted 121 episodes over six seasons and told the story of a group of airline passengers stranded on a desert island, stood out from much of the other programming on TV at the time. The J.J. Abrams creation, with its huge ensemble cast, use of flashbacks, and cinematic camera work and storytelling changed the way television shows would be constructed and made over the next decade.

  • Parks and Recreation

    - Time it takes to binge: 2 days, 15 hours

    Initially conceived as a spin-off from “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation” never ended up having direct ties with its predecessor, but it did share a mockumentary format and creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The first season of the NBC show wasn’t received well by critics, but by the time season two aired many of the formerly negative critics changed their tunes, praising the series’ humor and writing. While there are no imminent plans to revive “Parks and Recreation,” fans still have plenty of episodes (125 total) available for a good binge session.

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    - Time it takes to binge: 2 days, 17 hours

    Another Michael Schur hit (he’s worked on “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “The Good Place”), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” centers on Andy Samberg’s character Jake Peralta, a talented but horribly immature police detective working at Brooklyn’s 99th precinct. The sitcom, which originally began airing on Fox in 2013, was nearly canceled in 2018 until NBC picked it up and gave it a sixth and now seventh season. Fans of the “NINE-NIIINE!” can expect the gang to return to their televisions in early 2020.

  • South Park

    - Time it takes to binge: 6 days, 8 hours

    “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone met in 1992 in a film class at the University of Colorado. It was in this class that they begin developing their famous characters—Kyle, Kenny, Stan, and Cartman—out of pure boredom. Five years and thousands of hours of work later, in 1997, “South Park” premiered, pulling in almost 1 million viewers for the first episode, and over 5 million viewers for episodes later in the season. Over 20 years later, there are nearly 300 episodes of the adult cartoon, which would take almost a full week to watch back to back.

  • Adventure Time

    - Time it takes to binge: 2 days, 22 hours

    A totally surreal cartoon meant for adults and children alike, “Adventure Time” was a surprise hit when it premiered on Cartoon Network in 2010. In the fall of 2018, the show came to an end, but not before becoming a cultural phenomenon. “Adventure Time” won everything from an Emmy Award to a Peabody Award, showed up at Comic-Cons around the country, and its merchandise lined store shelves across the country. Viewers won’t have to worry about getting bored as they binge the cartoon: Each episode is only about 11 minutes long (two episodes usually aired back to back to fill a 30-minute time slot) and storylines vary so wildly there’s always something to keep one engaged.

  • The Big Bang Theory

    - Time it takes to binge: 5 days, 19 hours

    “The Big Bang Theory” ran on CBS for 12 seasons, from 2007 to 2019. The sitcom, which followed a group of scientists and their assorted friends, significant others, and colleagues, was a Chuck Lorre production. “The Big Bang Theory” was largely disliked by critics, but audiences liked it enough that it was given a spin-off, “Young Sheldon” in 2017.

  • Orange Is the New Black

    - Time it takes to binge: 3 days, 19 hours

    Based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, “Orange Is the New Black” was one of Netflix’s first original programs in 2013. The show, about a women’s prison and its various inmates, set the example for what streaming services could do, and what future Netflix Originals would look like. Praised for its diversity and complexity, “Orange Is the New Black” is currently the platform’s most-watched original, with over 105 million households tuning in for at least one episode over the series’ seven-season run.

  • SpongeBob SquarePants

    - Time it takes to binge: 5 days

    Stephen Hillenburg was a marine biology professor before he became the “SpongeBob SquarePants” creator. Aspects of the Nickelodeon cartoon, which has now been on the air for 20 years, making it the longest-running Nickelodeon series ever, were drawn from Hillenburg’s real-life expertise. Although the show hasn’t always released new episodes consistently—for example, there was a two-year hiatus from 2013 to 2015 as the team worked on a full-length feature film—there are still enough 11-minute episodes that it would take one five full days of constant viewing to see them all.

  • The Vampire Diaries

    - Time it takes to binge: 7 days, 3 hours

    In 2009, “The Vampire Diaries” made its debut on The CW and instantly became the network’s most-watched premiere. The high school vampire drama succeeded not only because it came at a time when vampire stories were having a cultural moment, but also because it masterfully built a world and mythology. Eight seasons later, as viewership fell and ratings declined, the show came to an end with 1.19 million people tuning in to say goodbye to Mystic Falls and its supernatural residents.

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