Students from Bournemouth University have discovered the formula for the perfect TV show – with drama, romance and comedy all key components to keeping viewers hooked.
PhD students from the Media School analysed the top 25 TV episodes from the last decade – including episodes of Friends, Eastenders and The Walking Dead – to see what made them unmissable viewing.
They found that the perfect episode considered of 65 per cent drama, 12 per cent shocks and surprises, nine per cent comedy, eight per cent action and six per cent romance.
The research was carried out in association with BT TV and Heat magazine’s TV Editor Boyd Hilton.
Boyd said: “It's one thing to spot a classic TV show that will endure over the years, but what makes this research so exciting and unique is how it helps us work out why a particular episode is so powerful and unmissable.
“This is the ultimate guide to the recipe for TV gold."
The BU researchers found that an episode of Downton Abbey came the closest to their winning formula.
The episode where Lady Sybil died consisted of 78 per cent drama, seven per cent shocks and surprises, two per cent comedy, seven per cent action and six per cent romance.