While much is made about video streaming’s original series competition, it’s off network series that seem to draw the real binging.
And for the week of April 19-25, it was CBS procedural NCIS, streaming on Netflix, that was the most watched show in the U.S. SVOD biz, according to Nielsen. The police drama’s 353 episodes drew 890 million viewing minutes.
It was the seventh consecutive week that, according to Nielsen, no television program or film broke the 1 billion viewing minutes mark among the four major U.S. subscription streaming services: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney Plus.
Grey’s Anatomy took the No. 4 spot on Nielsen’s master SVOD ranker and the No. 2 spot on the acquired list. Netflix’s off-network run of ABC’s 370-episode medical drama tallied 720 million U.S. viewing minutes. Meanwhile Netflix streaming of yet another off-network crime drama, CBS's Criminal Minds, came in No. 6. The procedural drama’s 310 episodes licensed by Netflix garnered 630 million minutes of viewing.
Notably, earlier iterations of Nielsen’s weekly streaming rankings—which debuted in September—were dominated by The Office, which ran on Netflix up until the end of 2020, before moving to NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which is not included in Nielsen’s metrics.
With the procedurals picking up the slack for Netflix, the question now is whether ViacomCBS will snatch old episodes of NCIS and Criminal Minds back from Netflix so the show can streamed on the conglomerate's Paramount Plus.
The pre-merger CBS Corp. and Netflix signed a new contract in 2018, which allows Netflix to air shows from their library.
The terms of Netflix’s contract with ViacomCBS deal aren’t public. A standard five-year deal for those first 12 seasons of Criminal Minds would have the series departing Netflix next year.
It’s been a post-pandemic month, or two, since we’ve had a breakout original series hit in the video streaming biz. Mare of Easttown might qualify, but since Nielsen isn’t measuring HBO Max yet, it’s not in these rankings.
As for the standout originals that are, the release of the sixth episode of Disney Plus’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier captured 796 million viewing minutes in the U.S. during the week of April 19-25, putting the Disney Plus Marvel-based series in the No. 2 spot on Nielsen’s master ranker and in the No. 1 spot on the originals chart. The show fell from the top spot in the overall rankings and lost 59 million U.S. viewing minutes week over week.
Viewers were also taken with Netflix’s new series Shadow and Bone. After just two days on the streaming service, the eight-episode fantasy epic series garnered 721 million viewing minutes. The show, according to Netflix, has regularly appeared in the top spots of the streaming service’s Top 10 lists in the U.S. and worldwide.
Based on Leigh Bardugo‘s bestselling Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone takes place in a war-torn world where Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a lowly soldier and orphan, unleashes an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free.
The release of the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth episodes of the second season of Netflix’s The Circle on April 21 helped the reality show move from the No. 9 to the No. 5 spot in the overall rankings. Adapted from a British reality game show, The Circle’s 20 episodes drew 630 million viewing minutes during the week of April 19. That’s up by 187 million viewing minutes week over week. Netflix will stream episodes 9-12 on April 28, with the finale coming out on May 5.
With 284 million viewing minutes, Amazon Prime Video’s 10 episodes of Them fell out of the master rankings, but took the No. 5 spot on the original series ranker. This marks the first week that the horror series didn’t make the overall streaming rankings since its release on April 9.
Netflix’s Stowaway was the only movie to garner a spot on the Nielsen’s overall ranker. Starring Anna Kendrick the film is about a three-person crew on a mission to Mars who face an impossible choice.
Previous Weekly Rankings:
March 29 - April 4: Netflix’s ‘The Irregulars’ Tops the Easter Week Charts
March 22-28: - 'Falcon and Winter Soldier' Tops SVOD Originals
March 15-21: - 'Grey's Anatomy' Re-Runs Top SVOD Ranker
Feb 22-28: - Netflix’s 'Ginny & Georgia' Leads the SVOD Biz
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