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The fourth season premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale vaulted the Hulu series to near the top of the Nielsen streaming charts. Netflix’s Shadow and Bone also picked up steam in its second week of release.
Both shows racked up more than a billion minutes of viewing time from April 26-May 2, the first time any title has recorded that much watch time since Amazon’s Coming 2 America in early March.
The Handmaid’s Tale came in at 1.04 billion minutes, by far the biggest number a Hulu series or movie has recorded in the nine months Nielsen has been releasing weekly streaming figures. The series dropped its first three episodes of season four on April 28 (Nielsen measures all episodes of a series in its rankings).
Shadow and Bone, meanwhile, captured the overall No. 1 spot with 1.19 billion minutes viewed, a 65 percent jump from its debut the previous week.
Amazon also got a strong showing from its original movie Without Remorse. The Tom Clancy adaptation starring Michael B. Jordan drew 760 million minutes of viewing time, or the equivalent of almost 7 million full plays of the 109-minute film. Netflix’s animated adventure The Mitchells vs. the Machines debuted with 516 million minutes, or about 4.57 million full plays based on its 113-minute run time.
Netflix’s The Circle improved slightly with the third week of its batch release with 641 million minutes of viewing time, an uptick of 11 million minutes over the prior frame. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier dropped considerably the week after its finale, but the Disney+ series held onto fourth among original shows with 364 million minutes of viewing time.
Streaming platforms contend Nielsen’s methodology doesn’t capture the full scope of viewing on devices other than TV sets. Nielsen also only measures U.S. audiences, not those in other countries, and currently only includes Amazon, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix in its rankings.
Nielsen’s streaming top 10s for April 26-May 2 are below. Original streaming films are marked with an asterisk.
1. Shadow and Bone (Netflix), 1.19 billion minutes viewed
2. The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), 1.04 billion
3. The Circle (Netflix), 641 million
4. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+), 364 million
5. The Crown (Netflix), 271 million
6. The Great British Baking Show (Netflix), 215 million
7. Life in Color With David Attenborough (Netflix), 199 million
8. Invincible (Amazon), 176 million
9. Longmire (Netflix), 163 million
10. Lucifer (Netflix), 140 million
1. NCIS (Netflix), 872 million minutes
2. Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix), 746 million
3. Criminal Minds (Netflix), 680 million
4. Cocomelon (Netflix), 517 million
5. Heartland (Netflix), 481 million
6. Supernatural (Netflix), 374 million
7. Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn (Netflix), 359 million
8. Schitt’s Creek (Netflix), 337 million
9. Gilmore Girls (Netflix), 293 million
10. New Girl (Netflix), 289 million
1. Without Remorse* (Amazon), 760 million minutes
2. The Mitchells vs. the Machines* (Netflix), 516 million
3. Things Heard & Seen* (Netflix), 434 million
4. Stowaway* (Netflix), 271 million
5. Moana (Disney+), 181 million
6. Green Zone (Netflix), 135 million
7 (tie). Soul* (Disney+), 131 million
7 (tie). Thunder Force* (Netflix), 131 million
9. Frozen (Disney+), 121 million
10. Madagascar 3 (Netflix), 115 million
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