Nielsen Streaming Ratings: Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone’ Edges Hulu’s ‘Handmade’s Tale' in Rebound Week for the Streaming Biz

Netflix original series 'Shadow and Bone'
(Image credit: Netflix)

In its first full week on Netflix, original series Shadow and Bone captured 1.192 billion minutes of viewing, making it the most watched show on the major U.S. SVOD services for the week of April 26-May 2, according to Nielsen. 

The eight-episode fantasy-themed original series, which premiered April 23, 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. Based on Leigh Bardugo‘s bestselling Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone generated another 721 million minutes of streaming in its first three days on Netflix. 

Nielsen weekly rankings for April 26 - May 2

Nielsen Weekly SVOD Rankings for April 26 - May 2 (Image credit: Nielsen)

The week ending May 2 marks the first time in eight weeks that a television program or film, according to Nielsen, broke the 1 billion viewing minutes mark among the four major U.S. subscription streaming services: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney Plus. 

In addition to Shadow and Bone, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale also garnered over one billion viewing minutes. The dystopian series took the No. 2 spot on both Nielsen’s overall SVOD rankings, as well as its drilled down original series chart, with its 39 episodes generating 1.039 billion viewing minutes. 

Originally scheduled to be released on April 28, the first three episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale’s fourth season became available to stream two days early on April 26. The rest of the 10-episode season, which follows rebel leader June (Elisabeth Moss) fight against Gilead, are being released episode by episode each week on Hulu.

Nielsen weekly rankings - original series April 26 - May 2

Original Series (Image credit: Nielsen)

Surprisingly, two movies, Amazon’s Without Remorse, starring Michael B. Jordan, and Netflix’s animated comedy film Mitchells vs. The Machines—made Nielsen’s top 10 for the week ending May 2. Without Remorse drew 760 million viewing minutes, placing it at No. 4 in Nielsen’s overall rankings and No. 1 on the top SVOD movies sub-rankings.

Slated for a theatrical release by Paramount Pictures, Without Remorse was sold to Amazon Studios in July 2020. Based on Tom Clancy’s 1993 novel by the same name, the film follows U.S. Navy SEAL John Clark (Jordan), who is one of the most well-known characters in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe. 

Ahead of the film’s April 30th release, Amazon coordinated more than 100 drone deliveries to veterans, military families, and social influencers in 11 countries and 14 markets worldwide to promote the film. 

Netflix’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines took the No. 9 spot on Nielsen’s master ranker and the No. 2 spot on the movie chart generating 516 million viewing minutes in the U.S. The animated comedy from executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, is about an everyday family’s struggle to relate with each other while technology rises around the world.

Nielsen weekly rankings - movies April 26 - May 2

Movies (Image credit: Nielsen)

Sony Pictures sold the film to Netflix in January 2021. Sony had planned to release it theatrically, but reportedly collected $100 million from Netflix to acquire the movie.

Nielsen’s acquired series sub rankings were once again dominated by procedural dramas NCISGrey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds, which ranked  Nos. 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Netflix’s NCIS came in third for the week overall. The police drama’s 353 episodes drew 872 million viewing minutes. That’s down by 18 million viewing minutes week over week. 

Netflix’s off-network run of ABC’s 370-episode Grey’s Anatomy tallied 746 million U.S. viewing minutes placing the series in the No. 5 spot on Nielsen’s overall ranker. Netflix streaming of CBS’s Criminal Minds came in No. 6 on the master chart. The procedural drama’s 310 episodes garnered 680 million minutes of viewing.

Nielsen weekly rankings - acquired series April 26 - May 2

Acquired Series (Image credit: Nielsen)

Previous Weekly Rankings:

April 19-25: Netflix’s ‘NCIS’ Off-net Run Wins Another ‘Easttown and Down' Week for the U.S. SVOD Biz

April 12-18: Disney Plus’ ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Builds to 855 Million Streaming Minutes and a No. 1 Finish

April 5-11: Give Netflix's 'Thunder Force' Five for Winning the Week of April 5-11

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

March 8-14: - ‘The Crown’ Got Royal Gains from Meghan’s Big Oprah Interview

March 1-7: - Amazon Tops the Charts for the First Time with ‘Coming 2 America’

Feb 22-28: - Netflix’s 'Ginny & Georgia' Leads the SVOD Biz