Season 5 of The Crown saw its second-week audience on Netflix drop nearly 22%, but it still led all series and movies on the platform for the week of Nov. 14-20 with 84.3 million streaming hours.
It has to count a disappointing outcome for the historical drama, which tracks the British royal family under Queen Elizabeth II's reign. The significant audience drop came despite the fact that Season 5 of The Crown, which dropped Nov. 9, was in its first full seven-day frame last week.
Season 5 focuses on 1991-'97, tracking the demise of King Charles' marriage to Diana, along with the trajectory that led her to Egyptian filmmaker Dodi Fayed, among other story arcs.
With creator/EP Peter Morgan and his team recasting key roles amid each transition to a new era in Queen Elizabeth II's reign, Season 5 represents yet another major reboot of the series. Imelda Staunton takes over for Olivia Colman in the Queen Elizabeth role, Jonathan Pryce takes the baton from Tobias Menzies as the Duke of Edinburgh, and Dominic West assumes the role of Prince Charles (now King Charles) from Josh O'Connor.
Notably, catch-up viewing of the early seasons of The Crown spiked in September, amid the death and subsequent memorial for Queen Elizabeth, so anticipation of outsized performance had been high. Netflix's weekly audience rankings only go back to the summer of 2021, so there's no comparable metrics for seasons 1-4.
Notably, Rotten Tomatoes aggregation of TV critic reviews, which scored season 4 at 95%, give season 5 only a 72% rating.
"The balance that the show long maintained has tipped in favor of portraying the melodramatic turmoil within the family, but it’s done to tepid effect," wrote Shirley Li in The Atlantic (opens in new tab). "Even with an impressive and capable new cast anchoring the proceedings, Morgan’s approach to the personal lives of the royals is too sympathetic to ever be damning. The new season of The Crown never risks challenging anyone’s reputation. Instead, it merely risks its own as a compelling show.
Finishing just behind The Crown in the English-language TV series rankings was the debut of 1899, a German-produced sci-fi/horror drama, shot in the UK, which yielded 79.3 million viewing hours in just four days on the Netflix platform last week.
Season 4 of rescued NBC sci-fi series Manifest continued to drop in week 3, garnering 35.7 million viewing hours.
Meanwhile, the season 3 debut of the Liz Feldman-produced Christina Applegate series Dead to Me was ... largely DOA, capturing only 30.3 million viewing hours in its first four days on Netflix.
Meanwhile, among Netflix movies, Lindsay Lohan holiday movie Falling for Christmas fell two weeks before Thanksgiving, losing more than 20% of its debut audience from the week before.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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