The Nielsen ratings for the week of September 19-25, 2022 were just released. As always, Nielsen remains the gold standard for TV ratings. Streaming numbers are notoriously difficult to pin down since the various streaming services keep their internal metrics secret. These services do not want the general public or their competitors to know which of their shows are bombing or how their successful shows compare to other streaming services’ successful shows.
Nielsen’s ratings are the best that we have for gauging the popularity of the various streaming shows. Nielsen releases four main streaming charts. There are the Movies Top 10, the Acquired Top 10 (network TV shows that are licensed to the streaming services), the Original Top 10 (shows the streaming services produce themselves), and the Overall Top 10 (combining the three prior categories together).
Let’s start with the big chart first, the Overall Top 10 chart for September 19-25, 2022. The battle of the streamers was incredibly one-sided. Netflix destroyed all of the competition by placing eight shows/movies on the Overall Top 10 chart. HBO Max and Prime Video had one show apiece in the Overall Top 10 chart. Nowhere to be seen is Disney+, HULU, or Apple TV+.
The battle for the number 1 spot was not even close. Dahmer blew all the competition out of the water in dramatic fashion with a whopping 3.6 billion minutes viewed. I still have not watched this show. And I probably never will. Dahmer was a piece of garbage and deserves to be forgotten. But, obviously, the rest of the United States is obsessed with this show!
Cobra Kai came in second place with 1.1 billion minutes viewed. I adore Cobra Kai. It is wonderful to see Cobra Kai still going strong weeks after Season 5 dropped all of its episodes on September 9, 2022.
House of Dragon took third place with 1 billion minutes viewed. This is impressive considering that a sizable portion of viewers watch House of Dragon on Cable TV rather than on HBO Max and do not show up in these numbers. I still have not checked out this show. I loved Game of Thrones, but I also am the type of person who believes that you can never go home again. Maybe I will change my mind based on recommendations from people I trust.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power took fourth place behind its direct competitor in House of Dragon with 977 million minutes viewed. This has to be embarrassing for Amazon given the ludicrous amount of money they have spent on Rings of Power. The fact that House of Dragon beat Rings of Power despite a portion of viewers watching House of Dragon on Cable TV makes this loss sting even more for Amazon.
Amazon spent $1 billion on Rings of Power just to finish in fourth place. That is a crushing defeat. This is another show I have not watched yet. And based on the endless amount of negative reviews I will probably never bother watching Rings of Power.
What is also both embarrassing and crushing is that Disney’s two big shows did not appear on the Overall Top 10 list. She-Hulk Episode 6 came out on September 22, 2022. Star Wars: Andor Episodes 1-3 came out on September 21, 2022. Aaaaand, yup. Neither Disney+ show managed to make it into the Overall Top 10.
This has to be panic time for Disney. We all know that Kathleen Kennedy took the gold-standard Hollywood franchise and ran it into the ground to the point where we have not gotten a theatrical release since 2019. There are also no upcoming Star Wars movies on Disney’s release schedule for the next two years. However, the success of The Mandalorian Disney+ show gave Disney hope that Star Wars could be resuscitated on the Disney+ platform. That hope appears to be somewhat false.
We are now at the point where a brand new Star Wars show drops three episodes and fails to crack into the Overall Top 10 chart. This should never happen. It appears that Disney has seriously broken Star Wars to the point where I am unsure what can be done to fix the Star Wars franchise.
While Lucasfilm has been failing for years, what had not been failing for Disney was Marvel Studios. However, it appears that Marvel Studios is beginning to lose a bit of its shine. The Eternals tanked, then Thor: Love and Thunder underperformed, and the Ms. Marvel Disney+ show then completely bombed. Now we have She-Hulk failing to break into the Overall Top 10 chart. Given the failure of the Star Wars franchise, Disney can hardly afford for the MCU to follow the same path. Again, Disney has some serious work on its hands. A new MCU show should never fail to crack into the Overall Top 10 chart.
Let’s hop over to the Original Top 10 chart. Netflix’s dominance continues as they placed seven shows in the Original Top 10 chart. Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu managed just one show a piece in the Original Top 10 chart.
We do finally see Star Wars: Andor making the Original Top 10 chart at the number 6 spot with 624 million minutes. That is not in the same stratosphere as Dahmer. It is not even close to Cobra Kai. It even pales in comparison to Rings of Power.
We even have the Star Wars franchise failing to defeat shows like Fate: The Winx Saga and El rey, Vicente Fernandez. Yup. We are now at the point where a brand new Star Wars show dropping its first three episodes cannot beat a Columbian TV show based on the life of a mariachi musician or a show based on a Nickelodeon cartoon. Wow. How the mighty have fallen.
And She-Hulk, who at this point had six episodes on Disney+? Yup. She-Hulk failed to make the Original Top 10 list. A crushing embarrassment for Marvel Studios. Disney cannot afford to have the MCU become just another average franchise that has equal amounts of hits and misses.
On top of that, Disney is obsessed with building up Disney+ in order to compete with Netflix. It is incumbent that the quality of the content on Disney+ remain high otherwise Disney+ will quickly gain the reputation of a streaming service full of inferior content compared to their competitors in HBO Max and Netflix.
She-Hulk’s failure highlights the need for Marvel Studios to pivot back to what they were doing during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the MCU. It also emphasizes the importance of Marvel Studios hiring creative talent who actually understand and love the properties that they are handlings. Lastly, it is becoming increasingly clear that insulting and attacking the fans is financial suicide over the long term.
All right, that is it for this week. It will be interesting to see if Netflix continues its utter dominance of the Overall Top 10 chart. I am also curious to see if Star Wars: Andor is able to pick up some steam over the course of the next few weeks. As far as She-Hulk is concerned, I absolutely expect a spike in viewers with the appearance of Charlie Cox as Daredevil in episode 8.