What Is A Netflix 'Limited Series' And What's Different About Them?

24 November 2020, 12:11

Unbelievable is a limited series on Netflix
Unbelievable is a limited series on Netflix. Picture: Netflix

Netflix have begun signposting whether a new show is a 'limited series' or not and there's still some confusion over what it actually means.

What is a Netflix 'limited series'? Certain shows are being billed as a 'limited series' on the world's biggest TV and movie streaming service and we need to know exactly what that means.

Whether you're a fan of The Queen's Gambit or you've watched Jonah Hill and Emma Stone's Maniac you'll be well aware of the term 'limited series'.

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The term in fact means that the series' storyline is guaranteed to finish within the final episode of the series.

Unbelievable on Netflix
Unbelievable on Netflix has been one of the most popular limited series. Picture: Netflix

A Netflix 'limited series' acts as a mini-series with usually around 4-10 episodes where the main story arc of the show will be full resolved within that time-frame.

This doesn't necessarily mean an end for the show itself however. There have been cases where the show continues although the entire storyline may be different, either with or without the same actors starring too! Interesting huh?!

The Queen's Gambit is a limited series
The Queen's Gambit is a limited series. Picture: Netflix
Maniac with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill is a limited series
Maniac with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill is a limited series. Picture: Netflix

You may not have even noticed the label on Netflix, but there are a number of limited series on the platform.

True story Unbelievable about a young woman's rape ordeal which wasn't at first believed by police was a huge talking point when it landed in 2019 and Seven Seconds is another series which is just as gripping, following a white policeman in America who seriously injures a black teenager in a car accident and tries to cover up what happened.

1994 and Unorthodox are other short series detailing real live events in just a few episodes.

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