Linear and streaming TV ratings based on U.S. TV demand data (12 – 18 April 2020)

20 April, 2020

Image: Little Fires Everywhere, Hulu


Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness continues to dominate America’s streaming TV ratings, and is now the most in-demand overall series in the United States. Netflix was sure to keep its breakout hit in the cultural conversation by releasing a follow up episode on April 12th – ‘Tiger King and I’ – featuring Joel McHale interviewing some of the show’s newly-famous subjects from their homes. That release, combined with last week’s number one The Walking Dead not airing, allowed Tiger King to take over as the top series in the US. This is the first time we have ever seen a documentary series become America’s most popular overall TV show.

NBC’s Saturday Night Live was the biggest gainer on the overall charts. The sketch comedy grew 33.17% in total demand compared to the previous week, in the wake of airing a remotely-produced episode on April 11th. It was the show’s first new episode in more than a month, after SNL became one of countless hit series to shut down production due to coronavirus lockdowns. Like much of the rest of the world, the cast worked from home, filming sketches in their respective apartments and houses. Host Tom Hanks – fully recovered from his own battle with Covid-19 – also performed his monologue duties from home.

Another classic NBC comedy returned to the overall top 10 this week – The Office was up 7.15% in demand and moved from 14th to 10th place overall. Comcast’s new streaming service Peacock had a soft launch on April 15th – making it available to Comcast Xfinity X1 customers in the US – but The Office won’t be available on the service until 2021.

Digital Originals.jpg

Tiger King marks its second consecutive week atop the digital originals chart. While it only gained .42% in total demand, it still has 31.6% more demand than second place Stranger Things, showing its continued dominance in streaming TV ratings.

In a relatively slow week on the digital originals charts, both of Disney+’s Star Wars series grew in total demand. Star Wars: The Clone Wars' latest episode tied the series closer in chronology to the final prequel film, Revenge of the Sith. This caused demand to go up 16.42%, and the animated hit became America’s fourth-most demanded digital original. It hopped above fellow Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian, which saw a 3.97% gain in demand after Disney+ announced an upcoming docuseries about its flagship original. Both that and the series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars are set to hit Disney+ on May 4th – Star Wars Day.

Coronavirus has been tough on Disney’s core profit generators – such as its theme parks and cable channel ESPN – so the House of Mouse is clearly tripling down on its Star Wars IP to help retain Disney+’s 50 million worldwide subscribers.

Making its debut appearance on the digital originals top 10 this week was Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere. This Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington-fronted miniseries dropped its penultimate episode on April 15th. The show's demand grew 3.02%, moving the series up from 12th to 10th place. The series is based on the best-selling novel by Celeste Ng and highlights issues of class divide and socioeconomic inequality in the leafy Shaker Heights, Ohio suburb. With the series finale set for April 22nd, this star-studded Hulu Original drama could stay towards the top of the US steaming TV ratings for another week.

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