The Rings of Power tops the Nielsens

Rings of Power tops the Nielsens on release

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Prime Video’s epic The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power tops the Nielsens on release — we take a look at all the numbers

The Nielsen US TV ratings for August 29 – September 4 are out, and it’s good news for The Rings of Power, which tops the chart on release. There’s a lot more to talk about, but let’s start with last week’s projection:

…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

Before we chat, let’s get the numbers…

The Nielsen US viewing figures August 29 – September 4 (Streaming Originals)

We add the columns marked ‘*’.

Rank Streamer Series #Episodes Ep length (mins)* Total Minutes (Millions) Episode Watches*
1 Prime Video The Rings Of Power 2 60 1,253 20,883,333
2 Netflix Devil In Ohio 8 45 716 15,911,111
3 Netflix Stranger Things 34 75 667 8,893,333
4 Netflix Echoes (2022) 7 45 627 13,933,333
5 Netflix I Am A Killer 26 45 558 12,400,000
6 Disney+ She-Hulk: Attorney At Law 3 60 472 7,866,667
7 Netflix The Sandman (2022) 11 50 432 8,640,000
8 Netflix Virgin River 42 45 428 9,511,111
9 Netflix Partner Track 10 60 413 9,177,778
10 Netflix Untold (2021) 9 60 301 4,300,000

The Rings of Power tops the table

It’s a solid score for Prime Video’s Middle Earth epic, and the two episode launch made the difference to total minutes, enough to take the #1 slot. Straight into the top has a cache, and Amazon will no doubt be pleased. How long will it continue?

The Sandman watch

While we await news of a possible season 2 for The Sandman (and the Jenna Coleman Hellblazer / Johanna Constantine spin-off looks even more distant), the show has now dropped from last week’s #3 with 681 million minutes to #7. This is a 36% drop week-on-week, and there’s a rule of thumb (very rough) a show declines 30% week on week once it peaks. This means it may be the final time we see Neil Gaiman’s show in this chart. We understand, from Neil Gaiman’s Twitter feed, part of the challenge is Netflix looks for season completion rates in the first 28-days. The theory is these viewers are likely to watch a second season. It seems The Sandman is being savoured more than binged, so renewal is still very much in the balance.

Dragon watch

As we said before, House of the Dragon (and Game of Thrones) get filed under Acquired series (we suspect as originally Game of Thrones was screened on linear TV), so appear on a different tab. Here the salient entries are:

Rank Streamer Series #Episodes Total Minutes (Millions)
1 Netflix NCIS 354 812
2 HBO Max Game of Thrones 73 792
3 HBO Max House Of The Dragon 3 781

The power of back-catalogue clear, though House of the Dragon is closer to Game of Thrones than it was, and both shows interested more viewers. In terms of the Originals table above, this would place the shows second and third.

What else happened?

Devil in Ohio
Devil in Ohio

Putting aside Rings of Power, we called the Netflix titles accurately with Emily Deschanel’s Devil in Ohio, doing well and knocking Echoes down a place. This is her first show since Bones ended its 12 season run. Multiple seasons keeps Stranger Things near the top, and it’s a good week for She-Hulk. Our favourite Only Murders in the Building has left the building table after a strong run.

What are we expecting next time?

We have seen plenty of criticism of Rings of Power, but our view is the historic figures will see a rise as episode 3 arrives, and a full week’s data is available. We expect it to keep the top spot. The Netflix data has Cobra Kai back at the top, with new series The Imperfects coming in after Devil in Ohio. The Sandman may drift out of the top 10 altogether.

Whatever comes, we’ll bring our usual analysis. See you next time.