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Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ Got Royal Gains from Meghan’s Big Oprah Interview

Netflix's The Crown
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix should send a thank you note to Oprah and the Duchess of Sussex. Netflix original series The Crown, which has not debuted an original episode since season 4 premiered back in November, garnered a strong 449 million minutes of U.S. streaming for the week of March 8-14, according to Nielsen.

The 207 million-minute week-over-week increase was no doubt due to Oprah Winfrey’s March 7 CBS interview with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The highly anticipated exclusive interview drew 17.1 million viewers to CBS, according to Nielsen. The Crown was the sixth most watched show on the major SVOD services the following week. It was also the second most watched original series, Nielsen said. 

The research company reports that viewers of The Crown were most attracted to the series' first season, implying that the Oprah interview drove first-time watchers to start binging on the show.

Nielsen weekly SVOD rankings - March 8-14

Weekly SVOD rankings for March 8-14, 2021 (Image credit: Nielsen)

For the second consecutive week, Amazon’s Coming 2 America was the most watched program in the U.S. among the four biggest subscription-streaming services—Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and Hulu. The film captured 770 million minutes of viewing for the week of March 8.

This is only the second time Amazon has topped Nielsen’s typically Netflix-dominated weekly SVOD top 10 ranking list.

The Amazon Studios film, which Prime Video released on March 4, was down by 630 million total views week over week. But the fact that the 109-minute film maintained the top spot on the master ranking of all SVOD programs is noteworthy because Nielsen’s ranking system is based on total minutes streamed, therefore shows or series with many episodes have a clear advantage over one-off movies.

Coming 2 America is only the fourth movie to rank No. 1 on Nielsen’s weekly top SVOD programs list. Netflix’s Spenser Confidential, Disney Plus’ Soul and HBO Max’s Wonder Woman 1984 preceded Coming 2 America.

The Eddie Murphy comedy was the only movie to rank in Nielsen’s overall top 10. Jennifer Garner’s Yes Day just missed a spot on the overall chart, but came in second place on Nielsen’s more drilled down ranking of the top SVOD movies. Released on March 12, the Netflix film drew 402 million minutes of viewing over just two days of availability. Disney Plus’ Raya The Last Dragon moved from fourth to third place on the movie ranker week over week, garnering 390 million minutes of viewing. That is 35 million more views than the film collected during the week ending March 7.

Nielsen weekly SVOD rankings - movies March 8-14

Movie rankings for March 8-14 (Image credit: Nielsen)

In the week ending March 14, Variety reported that the Disney animated adventure was No. 1 at the domestic box office, garnering $5.5 million from 2,163 venues across the country. In order to access the film on Disney Plus, viewers have to purchase a $30 premier access membership in addition to regular subscriber fees.

Meanwhile, on the original series front, Netflix’s 10 episodes of Ginny & Georgia, which premiered Feb. 24, ranked No. 2 overall and No. 1 on Nielsen’s ranking of SVOD original shows, collecting 772 million minutes of U.S. viewing for March 8-14. The mother-daughter series is reminiscent of another recent Netflix original series,  Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane, which debuted Feb. 3, initially captured over 1 billion minutes, just as Ginny & Georgia did in its second week on the Nielsen streaming service chart. Six weeks after premiering, Firefly Lane has continuously maintained a top-tier ranking on Nielsen’s weekly original series chart.

Despite coming to a close on March 5, Disney Plus’ nine installments of WandaVision managed to maintain a spot on the originals chart during the week beginning March 8, as well. The Marvel miniseries garnered 388 million views per minute. WandaVision initially cracked Nielsen’s original series rankings when it debuted on Jan. 15 and tallied just 434 million minutes of U.S. streaming. This marks the first week that viewership of the series has decreased week to week.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel director and executive producer Joe Berlinger once again had a true crime docuseries on the originals chart. His Netflix docuseries – Murder Among Mormons – took in 264 million minutes of viewing after premiering on March 3.

Nielsen weekly SVOD rankings - original series March 8-14

Original series rankings for March 8-14 (Image credit: Nielsen)

As for acquired series, Netflix streaming of the CBS procedural Criminal Minds was the No. 1 off-network show on SVOD for the week, and No. 3 show overall. The 12 seasons and 307 episodes of the procedural drama licensed by Netflix garnered 699 million minutes of viewing. ABC’s long-running Grey’s Anatomy, meanwhile, was the second most popular acquired SVOD show. The series’ 366 episodes tallied 628 million U.S. viewing minutes during the week of March 8. 

Notably the master ranking SVOD chart included one movie and one original series. The eight remaining slots were taken up by acquired Netflix series. Also significant is during the week of March 8 no programs or films broke the one billion viewing minutes mark.

Nielsen weekly SVOD rankings - acquired series March 8-14

Acquired series rankings for March 8-14 (Image credit: Nielsen)