Shadow and Bone tops Nielsens (just)

Shadow and Bone tops the Nielsens just ahead of Handmaid’s Tale

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As we suspected might happen, Shadow and Bone tops the Nielsens, but only just

Last week it was a prediction, this week it happened — but only just. Netflix is back on top of the latest Nielsens with Shadow and Bone, with The Handmaid’s Tale a very strong second. Our team of analysts had booked today as leave to watch the new Lucifer season 5B, so we made them work through the night on a diet of pizza and sparkling water to crunch the numbers so we can bring you the story behind the headline.

The latest Nielsen data for 25 April – 2 May

First the usual: this is data for US viewing, doesn’t show all streamers and is from the Nielsen website. We’ve added columns marked with ‘*’ for analytic purposes.

Rank Streamer Series # Episodes Ep length (mins)* Total Minutes (Millions) Series Watches* Episode Watches*
1 Netflix Shadow And Bone 8 50 1,192 2,980,000 23,840,000
2 Hulu The Handmaid’s Tale 39 50 1,039 532,821 20,780,000
3 Netflix The Circle 24 55 641 485,606 11,654,545
4 Disney+ The Falcon And The Winter Soldier 6 50 364 1,213,333 7,280,000
5 Netflix The Crown 40 60 271 112,917 4,516,667
6 Netflix The Great British Baking Show 65 65 215 50,888 3,307,692
7 Netflix Life In Color With David Attenborough 3 60 199 1,105,556 3,316,667
8 Amazon Invincible 8 45 176 488,889 3,911,111
9 Netflix Longmire 63 60 169 44,709 2,816,667
10 Netflix Lucifer 77 50 140 36,364 2,800,000

Shadow and Bone tops the chart and other obvious observations

Last week the Netflix fantasy had just over 14 million episode watches, this week’s number is more than 60% higher. Both Shadow and Handmaid’s dominate the chart, and there’s very little to call between them. Falcon is on the way down, last week being the first since the season ended.  The Crown marches on and we have several other regulars.

What else is happening?

The most unexpected entry is Longmire, back from the start of the year, once again making us wish we had access to more than the top ten. More interesting, perhaps, we have four streamers in the chart: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon. Our (we’ve very biased) favourite Lucifer holds in for a second week as fans (we assume) are rewatching ahead of today’s new episodes.

What might next week bring?

Our statistical analysis (we tossed a coin) suggests Handmaid’s Tale will take the lead next week, and we expect a lot of churn in the top 3 for a few weeks as lots of new titles hit our screens. Falcon will drop down further, The Crown never goes away and we suspect Invincible may also drop out. Whatever happens, we’ll bring you our thoughts next week.