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Nielsen: Netflix’s Katherine Heigl Original ‘Firefly Lane’ Debuts at No. 1

Netflix original series 'Firefly Lane'
(Image credit: Netflix)

The premiere of the Netflix original series Firefly Lane captured over 1 billion minutes of U.S. viewing in its first five days on platform, making it the most watched show in the U.S. major SVOD biz for the week of Feb.1-7, according to Nielsen.

The first 10 episodes of the hourlong Firefly Lane, which debuted Feb. 3, drew 1.3 billion minutes of total U.S. viewing, placing it atop Nielsen’s master and original series ranking charts.

Based on the eponymous Kristin Hannah novel, Firefly Lane follows Tully and Kate, two women bonded by tragedy at age 14. The show, starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, was the only program to break the 1 billion viewing minutes mark during the first full week of February.

Another Netflix original, Bridgerton, which premiered on the streaming service on Dec. 25, fell to No. 2 on the original series list. The eight-episode Shonda Rhimes-produced romantic drama garnered 659 million minutes of total viewing--down 277 million views week to week. Netflix said earlier that Bridgerton was its most watched original series ever over its first 28 days on the platform. 

Once again, the only non-Netflix show on the original program chart and the master SVOD chart was Disney Plus’ WandaVision, which cracked the rankings for the fourth consecutive frame. The Marvel series tallied 589 million minutes of U.S. streaming, with five episodes available for the week of Feb. 1- Feb. 7.

Nielsen weekly SVOD rankings - original series for Feb. 1-7.

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Since September, Nielsen has ranked U.S. subscription video-on-demand domestic audience performance based on minutes viewed. Despite the onslaught on new streaming services like Paramount Plus, Discovery Plus and HBO Max, which touts 41.5 million activated subscribers in the U.S., the data company continues to rank only the four biggest SVOD services in the U.S.: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney Plus.

For the second consecutive week, Netflix’s streaming of the CBS procedural Criminal Minds was the most watched acquired SVOD show in the U.S. Criminal Minds’ 12 seasons and 297 episodes available on Netflix garnered 904 million minutes of viewing, down 80 million viewing minutes week to week. There’s no word as to when ViacomCBS might take back the rights to the crime drama in order to stream the show on the recently launched Paramount Plus, but we widely suspect that’s what’s going to eventually happen.

Coming in at No. 2 and No. 3 on the acquired SVOD chart were Netflix’s Grey’s Anatomy and Marisposa Barrio, respectively. Grey’s Anatomy’s 366 episodes garnered 854 million minutes of viewing while Marisposa Barrio’s 91 episodes drew 759 million minutes of viewing during the week on Feb. 1.

Marisposa Barrio is a 2017 Telemundo’s biographical telenovela and the only Spanish language drama on any of Nielsen’s four ranking lists. The series about the life and times of singer Janney “Jenni” Rivera Saavedra premiered on U.S. Netflix in January. Marisposa Barrio has made an appearance on Nielsen’s master ranker and acquired list since the week of Jan. 4-10.

Nielsen weekly SVOD rankings - acquired series Feb. 1-7.

(Image credit: Nielsen)

While Netflix, which has more than 73 million users in the U.S., continues to dominate Nielsen’s SVOD rankings, Disney Plus with a reported 40 million U.S. subscribers is slowly creeping, primarily in Nielsen’s weekly rankings of SVOD movies.

Once again three Disney Plus movies—Moana, Frozen and Frozen II—took up three slots on the movie chart. For the first time in several weeks, Soul did not make the chart. Interestingly Frozen, released in 2013, did make the movie ranker with 151 million viewing minutes – 21 million minutes more than the 2019 sequel Frozen II.

Nielsen weekly SVOD rankings - movies Feb. 1-7.

(Image credit: Nielsen)