Type keyword(s) to search

Features

Streaming Power Rankings: November 2021

Disney+ dominates, Netflix plays the bridesmaid, and HBO Max tumbles.
  • Photos: Disney+, Peacock.
    Photos: Disney+, Peacock.

    At the end of each month, Primetimer's Joe Reid surveys the undulating fortunes of the eight major streaming platforms for our Streaming Power Rankings.

    Last month's inaugural Streaming Power Pankings saw HBO Max in the catbird seat, Netflix held back by their horrendous Dave Chappelle press cycle, and Disney+ muddling through a rare dry spell. What a difference a month makes.

    A reminder: our rankings are calculated based on the following criteria: new shows (i.e. shows that premiered, or premiered new seasons), projects that were announced, and bonus points (and/or demerits) that take into account things like high-profile cancellations, awards attention, or significant good/bad buzz.

    Here's how things shook out in November:

    1. Disney+

    Previous Rank: 6

    Premieres: Disney+ exited its quiet period with two of the month's biggest streaming offerings: the Marvel series Hawkeye, with Jeremy Renner's title character training the young Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) in his ways; and the Peter Jackson-directed Beatles documentary Get Back. Grade: A

    Projects Announced: Although some felt Disney+ Day didn't really deliver the goods, the sheer breadth of content coming our way is impressive. Aside from the previously-announced projects that got trailers and release dates, there were announcements for: Kathryn Hahn reprising her role as WandaVision's main antagonist in Agatha: House of Harkness; a Hawkeye spinoff called Echo; an animated series called Marvel Zombies; another animated series about Spider-Man; a continuation of the X-Men animated series; and a new animated project for Karen Gillan (Nebula from the MCU) called Rhona Who Lives by the River. Grade: A-

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Disney and Marvel also struck a deal with IMAX this month for 13 movies that will eventually stream on D+ in enhanced form, which sounds like great news at least for people with massive home theater systems. Grade: B

    2. Netflix

    Previous Rank: 2

    Premieres: Netflix again wins for most shows, with November's crop including returning series like Big Mouth, Gentefied, Selling Sunset, the much anticipated Tiger King, and the third installment of The Princess Switch. Some of the more notable debuts included the John Cho-starring Cowboy Bebop adaptation, the League of Legends-affiliated animated series Arcane, and the first of the streamer's many 2022 awards contenders, Passing and Tick, Tick… Boom. Grade: A-

    Projects Announced: Regina King and David E. Kelley are partnering up for a limited series adaptation of A Man in Full. Jennifer Coolidge joined Ryan Murphy's upcoming series The Watcher. Netflix inked a two-project deal with acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda. And Randall Park is set to star in a comedy series set in the last remaining Blockbuster video store. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Squid Game lost its stranglehold on the top of the streaming charts ... only to be replaced by You, another Netflix series (no one tell Laura Ingraham) . Grade: B+

    3. Peacock

    Previous Rank: 3

    Premieres: For one thing, Siwa's Dance Pop Revolution turned out to be a crowd-pleaser, and likely benefited from Jojo Siwa's strong finish on this season's Dancing with the Stars. The second season of Saved by the Bell arrived without a ton of acclaim and maybe suffered from plunging into the busiest part of the streaming season, but the show is still shockingly funny and good. And in maybe the most pleasant surprise of the month, Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip turned out to be a fun and fascinating twist on the show's usual formula. A better turnout than expected for Peacock this month. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: Documentaries were a big part of Peacock's development story this month, with announcements for a documentary on Rosa Parks and one on Barney, the dinosaur children's entertainer. Days of Our Lives also announced plans for a standalone Christmas-themed movie, after the success of the Beyond Salem streaming mini-series in September. And in big "this is the future of live events" news, Peacock was announced as the new exclusive home of the Miss America Pageant. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Renewing the under-the-radar but critically lauded We Are Lady Parts was a very good decision. Grade: B+

    4. Hulu

    Previous Rank: 4

    Premieres: In addition to the docusries The Curse of Von Dutch, second season premieres of Taste the Nation, Animaniacs and The Great were good news for everybody, and the late-announced documentary on Janet Jackson's "nipplegate" controversy got a bunch of press coverage. Grade: B+

    Projects Announced: Kim Cattrall getting announced as the narrator for January's How I Met Your Father is some fun news. And Lizzy Caplan and Jesse Eisenberg were both announced for the upcoming adaptation of the popular novel Fleishman Is in Trouble. Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: A Solar Opposites Christmas special! Need we say more? Grade: B+

    5. Paramount+

    Previous Rank: 8

    Premieres: Paramount once again road the nostalgia game pretty hard this month, with the reboot of The Game joining the new season of The Challenge: All-Stars and The Real World Homecoming: Los Angeles. There was also the Jeremy Renner drama Mayor of Kingstown, which (unfortunately for Paramount) paled in comparison to Renner's other big streaming show, Hawkeye. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: Lizzy Caplan was cast in the streamers new Fatal Attraction series, one of two big casting announcements for Caplan this month (unfortunately neither were about her returning for the Party Down reboot on Starz). Reno 911 is doing a streaming special called "The Hunt for QAnon" that promises to be incredibly chaotic. And in perhaps the biggest news of the month, Good Wife/Good Fight/Evil creators Robert and Michelle King are adapting a series based on the Happy Face podcast, about a woman who discovers her father is a serial killer. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Yellowstone — that show that pulls in huge ratings but no one you know will admit to watching — premiered its fourth season, but while it airs on the Paramount cable network, it is not available to stream on Paramount+. (Instead, it's a Peacock excluive.) Grade: C-

    6. Amazon

    Previous Rank: 7

    Premieres: The third and final season of Hanna dropped this month, as well as the reality series Tampa Baes and a documentary about Pete Buttigieg, but let's be serious: the whole game for Amazon this month was with the fantasy epic The Wheel of Time. It'll take a bit to see just what kind of an impact the Rosamund Pike-starring series will or won't have, but there are a lot of eyeballs on it at the moment. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: The upcoming dark comedy/workplace thriller The Consultant starring Christoph Waltz is shouldering the majority of the burden for Amazon's announcements this month, but there was also news that Amazon would be partnering with ITV on the British-American series Riches, which is being compared to Succession. Grade: B-

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Amazon's The Boys put out a video mocking Disney+ day, which makes The Boys look good, even if it also makes it real easy to point the finger at Amazon and wonder what exactly they're delivering to their own subscribers at the moment. Grade: B-

    7. HBO Max

    Previous Rank: 1

    Premieres: A quiet month for the Max, especially with the Mindy Kaling-produced Sex Lives of College Girls getting mixed reviews. Love Life's second season, on the other hand, continues to get good notice. Grade: C+

    Projects Announced: An Under Siege reboot feels like we're brushing the outer edge of reboot culture, but a Dan Levy-hosted cooking show sounds much better. All of this was overshadowed by the news of a Harry Potter 20th anniversary special that will reunite stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint (to jointly rebuke the anti-trans J.K. Rowling perhaps??). Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: King Richard getting Oscar buzz is good news. King Richard underperforming at the box office, perhaps due to the decision to stream it day-and-date on Max isn't such good news. Grade: C

    8. Apple TV+

    Previous Rank: 5

    Premieres: With each new season, Dickinson gets more acclaimed, so the third and final season premiere was very good news. It helped offset the meh movie premiere for Tom Hanks in Finch and the disappointing Will Ferrell/Paul Rudd/Kathryn Hahn series The Shrink Next Door. Grade: C+

    Projects Announced: Eugene Levy will be hosting a travel series, leaving only Sarah Levy left to announce a streaming TV hosting gig before the year is out. Grade: B-

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The Morning Show ended its inane second season with more rubbernecking than acclaim, but that doesn't mean people won't be rabid to see what it gets up to in Season 3. Grade: B

    Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Disney+, Amazon, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, The Beatles: Get Back, Cowboy Bebop, Hawkeye, The Siwa Dance Pop Revolution, We Are Lady Parts