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Netflix Crowns Itself in November's Streaming Power Rankings

Meanwhile, Paramount delivers a Taylor Sheridan drama, just not the one you're thinking of.
  • Photo: Disney+, FX, Netflix (Primetimer graphic)
    Photo: Disney+, FX, Netflix (Primetimer graphic)

    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.

    In November, Netflix hauled out one of its biggest guns with a new season of The Crown, Hulu debuted a pair of shows with some really great casts, Disney+ and HBO Max both went hard in the direction of Christmas nostalgia, and Paramount+ delivered a Sylvester Stallone series while hoping we wouldn't notice it's still not streaming Yellowstone. Here are our updated power rankings, listed from top to bottom.

    1. Netflix

    Previous Rank: 1

    Premieres: Netflix's usual mixed bag of monthly content onslaught — the documentary Pepsi, Where's My Jet? had "big laughs and big ideas"; Blockbuster was a disappointment; Wednesday was widely streamed but creatively shallow; the final season of Dead to Me was a triumph for star Christina Applegate after her MS diagnosis — ended up taking a back seat to The Crown Season 5, which introduced a new cast, including Elizabeth Debicki as Diana. The Crown remains one of Netflix's signature shows, and thus any month when it debuts is a major one for the streamer. Grade: A-

    Projects Announced: Ryan Murphy got the go-head for two more seasons of his Monster anthology, which this year produced a controversial but widely seen season on Jeffrey Dahmer. Longtime fans of author Judy Blume will be happy to know that her 1975 novel Forever (the one that wasn't for kids) is being turned into a series with Girlfriends' Mara Brock Akil as showrunner. Guy Ritchie is turning his film The Gentlemen into a Netflix series starring Theo James. And Chris Rock will produce a stand-up special for Netflix that will air live, as part of a new live-TV initiative. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Wednesday is the latest Netflix series to break viewership records, according to Netflix's assurances that that is the case. Meanwhile, The Sandman didn't break any self-reported records, but it is getting a second season to further explore Neil Gaiman's dream lord in rich, goth-y detail. Grade: B+

    2. Hulu

    Previous Rank: 5

    Premieres: The end of November brought Hulu's two biggest premieres this month. Fleishman Is in Trouble saw Jesse Eisenberg, Lizzy Caplan, and Claire Danes all delivering "career-best work", while Kumail Nanjiani and Murray Bartlett starred in the "vibrant" true story Welcome to Chippendales. Hulu also scored with the religious-corruption documentary God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty. Grade: B+

    Projects Announced: If The White Lotus Season 2 has got you yearning for Season 1's Natasha Rothwell, here's some good news: she's going to write, star in, and showrun a new comedy called How to Die Alone. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The Grace Van Patten-starring Tell Me Lies got picked up for a second season. Grade: B-

    3. Disney+

    Previous Rank: 2

    Premieres: Andor, which is probably the best Disney+ series of the year, aired the final few episodes of its first season this month. But in terms of actual debuts, it was down to a reboot of Willow, a return engagement with Tim Allen for The Santa Clauses, and an attempt to capitalize on World Cup fever with the reality series Save Our Squad with David Beckham. Grade: B-

    Projects Announced: Nothing brand new to speak of, but Agatha: Coven of Chaos cast Saturday Night Live alum Sasheer Zamata, and Doctor Who cast Millie Gibson as the companion for the new Doctor, to be played by ​​Ncuti Gatwa. Grade: B-

    Bonus Points/Demerits: That Andor finale… pretty great, huh? Grade: A

    4. Prime Video

    Previous Rank: 4

    Premieres: Nothing from Prime Video really set the world on fire this month, but Three Pines featured Alfred Molina as a Québécois detective solving mysteries in a small town, which for some people would be a Rings of Power-level television experience. The James Corden-starring Mammals didn't make much of a splash, though our Mark Blankenship found it to be a "startling pleasure." Meanwhile, the Emily Blunt western The English ended up being a more frustrating experience. Grade: B+

    Projects Announced: Lily Collins is going to executive produce and star in The Accomplice, based on Lisa Lutz's novel. Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Amazon's caginess over the viewership number of The Rings of Power is causing some raised eyebrows. Grade: C

    5. HBO Max

    Previous Rank: 3

    Premieres: With new White Lotus episodes on HBO, the HBO Max offerings inevitably looked shabbier — no offense to Dan Levy and The Big Brunch, a show that is trying to get in on some of Netflix's penchant for game-ifying cooking shows. The second season of The Sex Lives of College Girls is showing signs of becoming the kind of show people need to pay attention to. Love Lizzo has Lizzo, and that's certainly a lot of fun. A Christmas Story Christmas just made us want to watch the original, though. Grade: B-

    Projects Announced: Ugly Betty and Love, Victor star Ana Ortiz is set to star in More from Berlanti Productions, in the role of the mom of a family of social media superstars not dissimilar from the Kardashians. The Walking Dead's Christian Serratos will also star. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Good news: Discovery+ shows like Property Brothers: Forever Home and Chopped are headed to HBO Max. Bad news: Steven Spielberg is blaming Warner Bros. and HBO Max for killing the cinematic experience. Grade: C+

    6. Apple TV+

    Previous Rank: 7

    Premieres: New seasons of Mythic Quest and The Mosquito Coast were accompanied in November by the new limited thriller series Echo 3. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: Seth Rogen is producing an as-yet-untitled half-hour comedy about a Hollywood studio. It joins the Rogen/Rose Byrne comedy Platonic on Apple's increasingly Seth-ified roster. Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: As good as the Sharon Horgan-starring dark comedy series Bad Sisters was, it's flatly insane that a show that ended as definitively as that one did is getting a second season. Grade: B-

    7. Peacock

    Previous Rank: 8

    Premieres: The Adam DeVine-starring Pitch Perfect spinoff, subtitled Bumper in Berlin, was Peacock's biggest premiere this month. Unless you were really psyched for the docuseries Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies. Grade: C

    Projects Announced: Peacock is partnering with Sky to produce an updated version of the classic '70s thriller The Day of the Jackal. Top Boy showrunner Ronan Bennett and Game of Thrones director Brian Kirk are both attached. Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Mandy Moore and Edgar Ramirez are on board to join the cast of Dr. Death season 2. Ramirez will play a charming surgeon called the "Miracle Man," while Moore plays an investigative journalist who gets caught up with him. Grade: B

    8. Paramount+

    Previous Rank: 6

    Premieres: The new season of Yellowstone may still insanely not be available to stream on Paramount+, but subscribers did get a new Taylor Sheridan series starring Sylvester Stallone to savor with Tulsa King. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: Nothing major in terms of new series in development this month, but the series finale of The Good Fight was accompanied by the requisite teasing of possible spinoff series from creators Robert and Michelle King. Nothing is in the works thus far, though. Grade: B-

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Seriously? Yellowstone is still only appearing on the Paramount Network and not Paramount+? This continues to be such a black eye on the whole platform. Grade: C-

    Joe Reid is the senior writer 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: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount+, Peacock