Image: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Nickelodeon
This week, Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty became the number one show in the United States across all platforms, with 86.6 times more in demand than the average show in the US. The animated sci fi hit gained 7.9% in television demand compared to the previous week, as anticipation grew for its May 31st Season 4 finale. Earlier seasons of Rick and Morty also became available to a new audience last week, as the series is included in AT&T’s HBO Max, which launched May 27th with a strong library of content.
This week’s biggest gainer in television demand on the overall charts was Avatar: The Last Airbender. This animated classic originally ran on Nickelodeon from 2005-2008 and has not been available for streaming since it was removed from Amazon Prime Video in 2017. Netflix acquired the streaming rights as part of its wider deal with Nickelodeon, and made all three seasons available to stream in mid-May. The show gained 11.1% in demand to become 59.8 times more in demand than the average show in the US, and jumped from 12th to 5th most in-demand series in the US for the week. According to Netflix, it became the platform’s most viewed show in the US during its first week of availability.
While SpongeBob Squarepants and My Hero Academia dropped slightly in total demand, they both retained enough demand to make four of the top five series in the US animated shows. Notably, animated shows are also among the only ones that can still be produced in this age of social distancing, as highlighted by top entertainment industry executives in our Navigating COVID-19 Special Report.
The other new entrant to the overall top 10 was CW’s The Flash, which actually dropped slightly in demand, but jumped up the rankings due to bigger loses from NBC's Saturday Night Live and fellow CW series Riverdale.
The digital originals list remained remarkably stable compared to the previous week. Netflix's Stranger Things led the pack for the second straight week, with 59.4 times more demand than the average series in the US. Demand for Disney+'s Star Wars: The Clone Wars saw the biggest drop of any series in the top ten - down 17.6% this week - but still held onto second place. With The Mandalorian in third place, the Disney+ Star Wars series are demonstrating remarkable staying power with American audiences.
The biggest riser on the digital original list was Apple TV+’s Defending Jacob. We have rarely seen any Apple TV+ originals on the charts, so this should be considered a big win for Apple. Last week we revealed that Defending Jacob has been Apple TV+’s most successful original series by television demand so far. Defending Jacob released its season finale on May 29th after an eight week run. Despite mixed reaction to the show's ambiguous ending, the series gained 9.9% in television demand for the week, moving it up to sixth place.
Two Netflix mainstays rejoined the digital original top 10 this week. Lucifer gained 5% in demand after news broke that series lead Tom Ellis signed a deal to return for an all but confirmed sixth season. Meanwhile, Narcos saw a modest 2.7% bump in demand to move the series from 11th to 10th place.