Echoes tops the Nielsens

Echoes tops the Nielsens as The Sandman slips to third

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Echoes tops the Nielsens as The Sandman slips down to third place — we discuss what that means

The Nielsen Top 10 for Original streaming (there are several charts) shows Echoes tops the list, and last week’s leader, The Sandman, has slipped back to third place. Last week we were expecting:

a good week for Echoes, beating The Sandman and several shows we don’t follow. Away from Netflix the big interest is House of the Dragon and perhaps Star Trek: Lower Decks. We won’t be surprised to see Only Murders one more time

As you’ll see from the numbers, we didn’t do too badly!

The Nielsen numbers for August 22-28

Remember, this is US data and we add the columns marked ‘*’.

Rank Streamer Series #Episodes Ep length (mins)* Total Minutes (Millions) Episode Watches*
1 Netflix Echoes (2022) 7 45 1,123 24,955,556
2 Netflix Stranger Things 34 75 890 11,866,667
3 Netflix The Sandman (2022) 11 50 681 13,620,000
4 Hulu Only Murders In The Building 20 60 578 9,633,333
5 Netflix Locke & Key 28 40 518 12,950,000
6 Netflix Untold (2021) 8 60 485 8,083,333
7 Netflix Virgin River 42 45 471 10,466,667
8 Netflix Never Have I Ever 30 40 433 10,825,000
9 Disney+ She-Hulk: Attorney At Law 2 60 390 13,000,000
10 Netflix Glow Up 32 60 336 5,600,000

Echoes tops the chart

It’s good news for the many fans of Echoes, and an example of the difference between audience and critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, critics give the show a rating of 25%, and the audience scores higher at 44%. This is far from stellar, but it’s clear somebody is watching the show, though only Netflix knows how many make it to the end. We return to the subject of season completion again.

The Sandman watch

The Sandman Dream Tom Sturridge
The Sandman

The Sandman has slipped down from the top spot, and while it’s fair to say the show is popular (and rates well with critics and audiences) Netflix has yet to renew (or cancel) it. Tweeting on the topic this week, Neil Gaiman explained the Netflix standard approach assumes audiences will binge a show. The Sandman is being consumed in a more measured manner, and Netflix has had to gather data for longer to see how many people are watching all eleven episodes. It’s all about completion — ten million people watching a whole season may well watch season 2; twenty million watching the first two episodes but only five million making it to the end may look like more audience, but indicates far less appetite for a second run.

What else happened?


Many shows moved around, with Stranger Things picking up (it benefits from having several seasons in back catalogue), Locke & Key already dropping back in its second week, and Virgin River drifting down. It’s good news for Only Murders in the Building as the season finale (and it was excellent) brings a boost in numbers taking the show to fourth place.

She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law made an appearance on its second week, as people decide to tune into the latest MCU outing on Disney+.

Enter the Dragon?

House of the Dragon
House of the Dragon

Notably there’s no sign of new epic House of the Dragon. It turns out the Nielsen classification has tripped us up, and House of the Dragon doesn’t count as an Original Series (it’s murky, and probably stems from parent show Game of Thrones originating before streaming). If we look at the Acquired content on the Nielsen chart, we find:

Rank Streamer Series #Episodes Total Minutes (Millions)
1 HBO Max Game Of Thrones 73 909
2 Netflix NCIS 354 770
3 HBO Max House Of The Dragon 2 741

The numbers are good, if lower than Echoes and both House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones outperform The Sandman. Curiously, the release of House of the Dragon has stimulated more audience for Game of Thrones, no doubt effected by the vast number of episodes of the latter. While we don’t normally track acquired titles, we will run a Dragon Watch section for a few weeks.

What are we looking for next time?

Devil in Ohio
Devil in Ohio

With all the caveats noted above on shows in scope, the Netflix data for August 29 – September 4 suggests new series Devil in Ohio will knock Echoes into second place with Stranger Things, The Sandman and Virgin River all dropping back. We expect Only Murders to start falling back as well, and are curious to see how She-Hulk performs (we understand it has lost viewers over the run, it will be interesting to see the data). The big ticket item is the arrival of Prime Video’s Rings of Power, so expect lots of discussion next time.