Forget Sherlock, Strictly and the rest, the surprise hit of Christmas TV is a real-life murder-mystery from a backwater county in America.
The acclaimed documentary Making a Murderer was released on Netflix a week before Christmas but has since gripped viewers across the States and Britain.
The first of 10 episodes shows Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man, being released after serving 18 years in prison for a rape that new DNA evidence proves he did not commit.
But, after returning to his family, who run a scrapyard in the sticks and trying to rebuild his life, the roof caves in again.
Days before his lawyers are due to take crucial statements to support his £24million lawsuit against the local police and county prosecutors, he is accused of another terrible crime – the murder of a young photographer – as prosecutors reveal the apparently damning evidence against him.
The shocking series follows the ensuing investigation and trials and – built on court footage, taped telephone calls, interviews with the Averys and news bulletins – has more twists and turns, heroes and villains than any Hollywood thriller.
Critics, like viewers, have been stunned by the disturbing series and Lenika Cruz, in the Atlantic magazine, says the streaming of one gripping episode after another defines the new way viewers are watching TV.
She said: “What it lacks in terms of sensationalism and gloss, it makes up for by possessing that very quality every Netflix show aspires to have – bingeability.
“The series begins slowly but, after grasping enough names and faces, you start feeling a sense of total immersion. You never quite feel that you’re too eagerly consuming someone else’s tragedy.
“Each revelation or twist brings enough frustration or disbelief to balance any feeling of exhilaration.
“Making a Murderer has the potential to be as popular and thought-provoking as its forebears – and to have real-life repercussions.”
The fear of revealing plot spoilers by talking about the series to people still to watch it is also typical of the new way we are watching television, according to media studies experts.
They say viewers have become far more wary of talking about plot twists until they are sure everyone in the conversation is at the same point in the series.