By STEVEN HERBERT
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – In its first five days of release, “Wednesday” drew the second-largest viewership in Nielsen’s brief history of releasing streaming viewership figures, according to figures released Wednesday.
Viewers spent 5.988 billion minutes between Nov. 23-27 watching the eight episodes of Netflix’s supernatural-infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ (Jenna Ortega) years at Nevermore Academy.
“Stranger Things” holds the record with 7.203 billion minutes watched of its 32 episodes May 30-June 5, including the first seven episodes of the fourth season of the science fiction horror series which was released May 27.
Nielsen began releasing weekly streaming figures in January 2020.
“Dead to Me” was second for the second consecutive week, with viewers watching the 30 episodes of the Netflix dark comedy for 1.464 billion minutes in the first full week its 10-episode third and final season was available. Viewership for the week of Nov. 21-27 was up 6.8% from the 1.39 billion minutes watched the previous week when the third-season episodes were available for four days.
The previous week’s leader, “The Crown,” dropped to a tie for third with “1899” with 1.109 billion minutes watched of the 50 episodes of the Netflix drama about Queen Elizabeth II and her reign. Viewership was down 37.6% from the 1.777 billion minutes the previous week, the first full week its 10- episode fifth season was available.
“Slumberland” was the other of the week’s five programs to top the 1 billion minutes watched threshold. Netflix’s fantasy adventure film rose two spots to fifth with 1.057 billion minutes watched. Viewership was up 62.4% from the 651 million minutes watched the previous week when it was available for three days.
The other program in the latest top 10 not in the previous week’s was “The Noel Diary.” The Netflix romantic drama film was ninth for the week with 707 million minutes watched in its first four days of release.
Dropping out of the top 10 were the mystery thriller film “Where the Crawdads Sing” and the long-running ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” which both stream on Netflix.
“Yellowstone” was the only non-Netflix program in the top 10 for the second consecutive week. The neo-Western which streams on “Peacock” was eighth for the second consecutive week with 736 million minutes watched of its 38 episodes.
Viewership was up 14.5% from the 643 million minutes the previous week when 37 episodes were available.
Nielsen also announces streaming viewership of Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and Prime Video programming.
The top 10 consisted of five original streaming series; two movies, two acquired series — “NCIS,’ which originally aired on CBS and “Yellowstone” which originally aired on the Paramount Network — and “CoComelon,” the 18-episode 3D animated series of videos of traditional nursery rhymes and original children’s songs that originated on YouTube.
Nielsen considers “Manifest” an original streaming series because 10 of its 52 episodes initially appeared on Netflix. The other 42 first aired on NBC.
The top 10 programs were “Wednesday”; “Dead to Me”; “1899”; “The Crown”; “Slumberland”; “Manifest”; “NCIS”; “Yellowstone”; “The Noel Diary”; and “CoComelon.”
The figures reflect only television set viewing, including such television-connected devices as Roku and Apple TV. Mobile-only viewing is not included in Nielsen’s streaming measurement systems.
While Nielsen releases weekly prime-time broadcast and cable ratings two days after the end of the week, except for holidays, viewership figures for streaming services are not released until 25 days after the end of the week because it takes more time to completely capture assets to report and aggregate streaming viewing, according to Nielsen.
Nielsen has announced it plans to shorten the release window for the viewership figures from streaming programming in the coming months.