Image: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Disney+
For the week of March 21 – 27, Spongebob Squarepants remained the most in-demand show in the United States, with 66.2 times the demand of the average series. This is down about 1% from last week. A potential factor helping to keep this show at the top of the charts is the recent spinoff series, Kamp Koral: Spongebob’s Under Years. All episodes of the spinoff were released on Paramount+ when the platform launched on March 4th and will be broadcast on Nickelodeon eventually.
My Hero Academia moved up one spot in the overall rankings as demand for the anime series grew by over 15% this week. The show saw a surge in interest this week as the first episode of its fifth season was released on March 27th. Despite this strong growth, it is still well behind Attack on Titan which had 65.9 times the demand of the average series for the week. However, as episodes continue to air and be made available in English, demand should continue its upward trajectory for this show.
Demand for The Flash was up by 13% this week which was enough to move the show up two places in the overall ranking. The enormously popular superhero series is currently in the middle of its 7th season which is apparently already full of plot twists and curveballs to keep audiences on their toes.
Sesame Street surged in demand this week, becoming the 10th most in-demand show in the US with 37.7 times the average series demand. It has received much attention in the past week as it introduced two new Black muppets as part of its efforts to highlight diverse voices and tackle racial justice for its young audience.
A high-level view of the top digital original series this week reveals the shifting dynamics in this space. Four of the top 10 series are Disney+ originals and these rank more highly than most of Netflix’s 5 originals in the top 10. This shows how the battle lines are being drawn between the incumbent behemoth and the streaming newcomer. Disney+’s ability to churn out mega-hits from its Star Wars and Marvel franchises mean that it has been able to increasingly dominate the top of the charts. Conversely, Netflix’s sheer number of shows mean that it has been able to hold onto more spots in the top 10 ranking but these have lately been ranking lower than Disney’s hits.
Skyrocketing up the charts this week is Disney+’s newest Marvel series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This premiered on March 19, close on the heels of WandaVision’s finale. Its weekly demand was up by 80% this week. As Disney+ launches more series in quick succession and often from the same franchise, an important question will be how much these shows are cannibalizing demand from each other and if audiences start to suffer from “franchise fatigue”.
Demand for The Witcher was up by 15% this week. Two news items were exciting fans of this series over the past week. The prequel series, The Witcher: Blood Origin has cast one of its leads, actor Laurence O’Fuarain. Additionally, set photos from the show’s season 2 production were released. Eagle-eyed fans familiar with the book picked up on certain photos which seem to indicate a key element of the novels, The Wild Hunt, will be coming to the series.