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Nielsen: Netflix Streaming of ‘Criminal Minds’ Stays Hot. But Does ViacomCBS Want It Back?

CBS procedural drama 'Criminal Minds'
(Image credit: ViacomCBS)

Netflix streaming of the CBS procedural Criminal Minds was the most watched show in the U.S. SVOD biz for the week of Jan. 25-31, according to Nielsen. 

Criminal Minds’ 12 seasons and 297 episodes available on Netflix garnered 984 million minutes of viewing, putting it ahead of Netflix original series Bridgerton on Nielsen’s master ranking chart.

Nielsen - Top SVOD Programs for the Week of Jan. 25-31

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Netflix began streaming the CBS Television Studios-produced drama in 2014. Additional seasons of the series about a team of FBI profilers who work for the bureau’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, and which debuted on CBS in 2005 and ended its run in 2020, popped up annually on Netflix up until 2017. But it doesn’t appear as though Netflix will be getting any more episodes beyond the first 12 seasons that are currently available on the platform. 

The last three seasons of the show— Nos. 13, 14, and 15—became available on Hulu on Jan. 1. 

And on Wednesday, a Criminal Minds revival was part of the ViacomCBS onslaught of familiar TV and film brands showcased in the conglomerate’s three-hour Paramount Plus launch presentation. 

Yes, ViacomCBS appears to want its show about murder back.

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.

If Netflix were to lose Criminal Minds, it would be yet another blow to the SVOD giant, which just lost The Office, the service’s most popular show of 2020, to Peacock earlier this year.

In Nielsen latest original program rankings, Netflix’s Bridgerton was again a big winner. Its eight episodes captured 936 million viewing minutes. However, Jan. 25-31 marked the first frame in which the Shonda Rhimes-produced romantic drama didn’t surpass the 1 billion viewing minutes mark since it debuted Dec. 25. 

Nielsen - Weekly SVOD Rankings- Original Series Jan. 25-31

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Another Netflix original,  Fate:The Winx Saga, took the No. 2 spot on Nielsen’s originals rankings and the No. 3 spot on its master SVOD ranker. The coming-of-age drama, a live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon’s animated series Winx Club, shot in Italy and the UK, debuted on Netflix Jan. 22. The show’s first season’s six episodes garnered 918 million views per minute. Netflix just announced an eight-episode, second season of the show, which will begin production later this year.

The only non-Netflix show on the original program chart was Disney Plus’ WandaVision, which cracked the rankings for the third consecutive frame. The Marvel series tallied 431 million minutes of U.S. streaming, with just four episodes available for the week of Jan. 25-31.

Since September, Nielsen has ranked U.S. subscription video-on-demand domestic audience performance based on minutes viewed. The data company continues to rank only the four biggest SVOD services in the U.S.: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney Plus.

WandaVision was the only non-Netflix show to make the master, original series and acquired shows lists. Disney Plus did take three spots from Netflix on the movie-ranking chart with MoanaSoul and Frozen II.

Netflix, which has more than 73 million users in the U.S., understandably dominates rankings based on total minutes viewed. 

On Wednesday, The Information reported that Disney Plus has around 40 million U.S. subscribers, which explains why we’re increasingly seeing Disney Plus shows crack Nielsen’s rankings. 

Nielsen Weekly SVOD Rankings - Movies

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Nielsen Weekly SVOD Rankings - Acquired Series

(Image credit: Nielsen)