Fallout Gross-Out and a Foreign Audience

I'm catching up on the Amazon show Fallout. As a person who was the target demo in 2008 when Fallout 3 came out, it is strange now to sit through a show that is clearly marketed to a much younger audience - and one that might not even be American.

Fallout on TV is purposely gross. It takes its cues from the game of course, but "real life" CGI head-exploding action and radiated bugs imagery is grating. Especially the way special effects are done where nothing really has weight because so much of it is digital. The show leans in on it. It seemingly wants to gross the viewer out that it can get comical, save for the awkward sex jokes (which likely play well to teenage dudes).

One sentence review before the viewership commentary? The way the show unfolds has all the trappings of Fallout 3, New Vegas, and Fallout 4 only without the immersive feel.


We are early days since the release, but the Hollywood Reporter says 60% of the viewership of this series is from outside the US.

It has been reported that Fallout pulled 95m minutes. What does that mean? A single 1-hour episode watched by 1 million people = 60 million minutes. Subtract 60% foreign and we get about 38m watching here in the USA. That equals, in total, about one rerun of LA Law on ION. That said, for a streaming show on Amazon, it's good! [UPDATED BELOW]

So, who is driving the Fallout audience? The 18-34 demo spread across England, France, and Brazil.

I realize we are well past "go" on marketing movies and shows to a global audience but it would have been nice if a show so grounded in the United States "worked" for an American one. Including a guy playing a cowboy, playing a Ghoul giving me Tropic Thunder flashbacks is not quite doing it for people.


Clean it up and more people will watch.

The general consensus seems to be that the show is "good" and a "hit," but in reality, the target audience is loud and toxic and it is very small.

My final older guy take here is that the show is like candy for people who played the games yet doesn't get close to hitting much else. But hey, you have people sawing off heads, using a curtain to wipe their wang off, newborn fish babies eating their mother, and several young actors doing their best to emote... something - among all the yuck.

Dumping on a show is easy, I suppose, but I feel like this show is very close to being good and the way the gross-out stuff is done makes it seem like it is made so it is shopable to a network (wider audience). We'll see. For now, I'll finish it up and see where it goes in Season 2.


Update May 10, 2024: The show is up to 2.9b minutes, which at 40% domestic is 1.16b minutes watched. A cumulative total equal to about season's worth of re-run episodes of The Big Bang Theory on TBS.