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Hulu Jumps to the Top of June's Streaming Power Rankings

PLUS: The Cancel Bear hits HBO Max, and Netflix on the rebound.
  • Photo: Hulu. HBO Max
    Photo: Hulu. HBO Max

    Hacks, The Flight Attendant and The Staircase put HBO Max in the catbird's seat for last month's streaming power rankings, but Hulu ruled the roost this June with a string of well-reviewed new and returning series, while a bruised and battered Netflix managed to avoid yet another PR catastrophe.

    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.

    1. Hulu

    Previous Rank: 6

    Premieres: It was a strong month for Hulu, which premiered the sophomore season of its hit comedy series Only Murders in the Building, picked up The Orville from Fox for its third season, and bowed the third and final season of Love, Victor. The streamer also introduced the FX-produced half-hour dramedy The Bear to very strong reviews. Grade: A-

    Projects Announced: Hulu picked up the half-hour comedy Tiny Beautiful Things, based on the novel by Cheryl Strayed. Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern are both executive producers, while Kathryn Hahn is set to star. Grade: A

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The good news was that the hit Sundance film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande premiered on Hulu this month. The bad news is that because it didn't screen theatrically, the film — and its stunning lead performance from Emma Thompson — won't be eligible for Oscars. Grade: B-

    2. Netflix

    Previous Rank: 7

    Premieres: Another typically massive slate from Netflix in June, with the biggest attention getters being the final season of Peaky Blinders, season three of Umbrella Academy, and the debut of Money Heist: Korea.. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: A Squid Game-based reality series ought to at the very least attract a rubbernecking audience. Florence Pugh starring in a series adaptation of East of Eden written and directed by Zoe Kazan sounds more promising. And Will Forte will play a podcaster trying to solve a murder in Ireland in the drama series Bodkin. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Selling Sunset got renewed for two more seasons, and the Jennifer Lopez documentary Halftime premiered. Grade: B+

    3. Apple TV+

    Previous Rank: 5

    Premieres: With every season, For All Mankind amasses more fans and more critical fervor. With its third season, it established itself as TV's very best "great show that doesn't get the respect it deserves." Rose Byrne's Physical also returned for a second season, and Maya Rudolph's Loot premiered its funny and poignant first season. Grade: B+

    Projects Announced: Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) and Cush Jumbo (The Good Fight) will play London detectives in the upcoming drama Criminal Record. Apple is also adapting the unfinished Edith Wharton novel The Buccaneers, with Kristine Froseth, Alisha Boe, and Josie Totah set to star. Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Cha Cha Real Smooth premiered on the platform this month (though don't expect it to fare quite as well as Apple's last Sundance acquisition, the Oscar-winning CODA). Also, the musical comedy fantasy series Schmigadoon! was renewed for a second season. Grade: B

    4. Disney+

    Previous Rank: 4

    Premieres: As has been the custom at Disney+, one big franchise-y premiere dominated the month's offerings (although Obi-Wan Kenobi continued to roll out episodes). In this case, it was the Marvel series Ms. Marvel, which earnied rave reviews for standing out from the typical Marvel output. Disney also got onboard with Love, Victor — which it had previously (and controversially) shunted to Hulu — just in time for the show to drop its third and final season. Grade: A-

    Projects Announced: Marvel is developing a TV series around the comic book character Wonder Man, to be developed by Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Despite the fact that recent Pixar features like Seeing Red and Luca premiered directly on Disney+, the much-hyped Toy Story offshoot Lightyear premiered exclusively in theaters. Grade: C-

    5. Peacock

    Previous Rank: 8

    Premieres: Peacock premiered a flashy, modernized adaptation of Queer As Folk alongside new seasons of Rutherford Falls and Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: Kevin Hart (as producer) and Dan Levy (as writer) are teaming up for a new comedy series based on Hart's past as a sneaker salesman. Grade: C+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The Rian Johnson-produced mystery series Poker Face added a bunch of cast members, withChloe Sevigny, Lil Rel Howery, and Ellen Barkin joining the previously announced Natasha Lyonne. Grade: B

    6. Amazon Prime

    Previous Rank: 2

    Premieres: One of Prime Video's biggest and most acclaimed series, The Boys, returned for its third season, and it's been garnering strong reviews and viral clips for weeks. The rest of the month's premieres haven't been as attention-grabbing, but the raunchy comedy The Lake was hailed as "subversive good time," the British psychological thriller Chloe has been attracting good reviews, while The Summer I Turned Pretty and The One That Got Away round out the month's original offerings. Grade: B+

    Projects Announced: It's been a quiet month for news out of Amazon as the streamer bides its time ahead of Lord of the Rings this fall. Grade: D

    Bonus Points/Demerits: In a month that went heavy on The Boys, it's no surprise that the streamer's biggest bonus points would come from renewing the dark superhero drama for a fourth season. Grade: B+

    7. HBO MAX

    Previous Rank: 1

    Premieres: With Emmy bait like Hacks and The Staircase playing out their seasons, there weren't a ton of big debuts on HBO Max this month.. The documentary Menudo: Forever Young was an eye-opening look at the history and controversies of the boy band institution, but that was about it. Grade: C-

    Projects Announced: The success of Hacks has meant good things across the board at HBO Max, and that goes for Megan Stalter, who plays inept assistant Kayla on the show. HBO Max is developing a series for her called Church Girls in which she will star and executive produce. Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The renew/cancel decision was made on quite a few shows this month. Among the renewed were Taika Waititi's comedy Our Flag Means Death, the Michael Mann-produced Tokyo Vice, and the charming comedy Starstruck. Among those cancelled were Made for Love and Raised by Wolves. Grade: B

    8. Paramount+

    Previous Rank: 3

    Premieres: Another solid month of programming from P+, including the third season of the acclaimed supernatural drama Evil, the reality TV mashup/Jersey Shore offshoot All-Star Shore, and Players. a new mockumentary series about League of Legends from the folks who brought you American Vandal. Grade: B+

    Projects Announced: There were no notable new shows announced this month. Grade: D

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Mel B joined the judging panel for the next season of Queen of the Universe; the Tony Awards aired the first half of their telecast on Paramount, Annette Bening and Bryan Cranston starred in the comedy film Jerry and Marge Go Large; and Beavis and Butthead reunited for a reunion movie. 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: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock