Did Top Gun Outgun Chip ‘N Dale? Plus Love, Death & Robots

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By my count, we had 38 new releases on streaming this week—which is a lot—including 25 TV series and 10 films. And fortunately not all of them are desperate to win an Emmy! (Thankfully.)

Before digging into the ratings, this Streaming Ratings Report will be a little different. if you’re not a paying subscriber, after about 500 words, you’ll find the rest of the newsletter is behind my paywall. Given the thousands of folks who are signed up for the free version of this newsletter, odds are you’ll see this notice. (If you’re one of my favorite people in the world who have already subscribed, you won’t notice anything different.)

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(Reminder: The streaming ratings report focuses on the U.S. market and compiles data from Nielsen’s weekly top ten viewership ranks, TV Time trend data, company datecdotes, and Netflix hours viewed data, Netflix Top Ten lists, Google Trends, Samba TV, and IMDb to determine the most popular content. While most data points are current, Nielsen’s data covers the weeks of May 16th to May 22nd.)


Data analysts should be upfront with their biases so you know where they’re coming from. Genre-wise, I have a HUGE soft spot for science fiction. I read a lot of it—popular and prestige—and watch sci-fi films whenever they come out. If there is any show I’m pulling for, it’s Netflix original animation anthology series, Love, Death & Robots, released on Wednesday 20-May. The latest season had nine episodes, bringing the series total to 25 episodes, which average about 13 minutes in length.

Let’s start with the good: those episodes have 140K reviews on IMDb, with an elite 8.4 score. That’s really good. I mean, that’s good enough to make IMDb’s Top 250 TV shows list!

And look, it premiered and number two on TV Time’s rankings:

That’s the good, but we have to attach the big caveat, which is that both IMDb and TV Time can skew towards “genre” shows, meaning shows in the superhero, science fiction, fantasy, and anime/animation genres. These genres often over-perform on metrics that require fan interaction, like IMDb ratings. 

Partly, I think we’re seeing some of that with Love, Death & Robots. It’s a well-liked title, but probably not as popular as these numbers suggest.

For example, here’s the Nielsen Top Ten Originals list:

See Love, Death & Robots? Me neither. 

(For the sticklers out there, it’s not a “dog not barking” because it made the TV Time charts for more than two weeks.)

Now the caveat to this category: this show is small. Not in scope, but in the total number of hours available to customers. Consider: after three seasons, it only has 7.6 total hours available to customers. The latest batch of episodes of Stranger Things, for example, has over nine hours of content. And that’s just the latest batch of episodes!

So is the show a miss for Netflix? With its IMDb scores and interest, no. Animation—while not performing nearly as well as often hyped—is still relatively cheap to make, especially shorts like this, so likely the show has made its money back.

Quick Notes on TV

***The rest of this post is only for paid subscribers of the Streaming Ratings Report, so if you want to know what films and TV shows didn’t make rankings this week, why it matters that Top Gun (1984) out-dueled Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, or how well Moon Knight did against Halo and Outer Range, please subscribe

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The Entertainment Strategy Guy

The Entertainment Strategy Guy

Former strategy and business development guy at a major streaming company. But I like writing more than sending email, so I launched this website to share what I know.


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