Netflix has changed the way we watch TV. People tuck into new series now in pretty much the same way Neo learned kung-fu and other skill-sets in The Matrix–all in one dense intake. (Okay, fine, maybe it’s a few dense intakes, but the point stands.) Some shows, like the most recent season of Arrested Development, were even designed to be gulped down in binge-watching sessions. Of course, sometimes the prospect of how much time-commitment will be involved in such devourings can be a bit daunting. It’s easier to decide to watch, say, The West Wing, if you know exactly how long it’s going to take–and now it’s easier than ever to find out.
The folks at Nielsen, fearless talliers of viewer vastness and demographics, have made a handy infographic that depicts the hard numbers of a wide selection of series’ runtimes. It’s not groundbreaking news by any means, but this information does put a shape around the time-vacuum required to partake in certain pop cultural elements, so you can decide whether it’s worth it. There may be three seasons of Sherlock, for instance, but since it’s a BBC show, given to short seasons, you can knock them all out in a little over half a day. Compare that figure to the six whole days and two hours it would take to get through Jack Bauer’s tortuous adventures on 24, and your decision is practically made.