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Apple's Afterparty Crashes January's Streaming Power Rankings

Meanwhile, Netflix continues to slide, and Paramount+ barely exists.
  • (Photos: Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney+)
    (Photos: Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney+)

    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.

    December's Streaming Power Pankings saw HBO Max back in the catbird seat and Netflix holding steady at No. 2, thanks to a packed lineup of new releases across streaming landscape. January, as usual, proved to be quite a bit more quiet. Still, a few shows proved to be pretty great, and there were big announcements for future series, including a Degrassi reboot and Keanu Reeves coming to Hulu.

    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.

    On to this month's rankings:

    1. Apple TV+

    Previous Rank: 4

    Premieres: The Fraggle Rock reboot is pretty good, and the murder mystery comedy The Afterparty is the month's best premiere across all of streaming. Also, Servant launched its third season, and while the fact that the show has been thriving in anonymity for this long without making a dent in the pop culture conversation isn't necessarily a good thing, Apple strong-arming its entire launch slate to third seasons is still kind of a flex. Grade: A

    Projects Announced: Gina Rodriguez is set to star in a TV series adaptation of Pedro Almodovar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. And in news that could have far-reaching implications, Apple ordered a Monsterverse series (within the same universe as the recent Godzilla and King Kong movies) that could give the service its own action franchise like Disney+ has with the MCU and HBO Max has with DC. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: For better or for worse, The Morning Show was renewed for a third season, meaning at least one more year of star-studded attention-grabbing for the streamer. Grade: B

    2. HBO MAX

    Previous Rank: 1

    Premieres: Peacemaker hasn't yet made the kind of impact that you'd want for a show that's kicking off your MCU equivalent, but HBO Max did get a lot of goodwill out of the well-received Search Party finale. And although it doesn't get full credit for HBO shows, the fact that you can watch shows like The Gilded Age, Euphoria, and Somebody Somewhere on Max gives it some shine. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: You know it's a good month when the announcement of a Steven Soderbergh series about the first Black American billionaire starring Don Cheadle is only the second best announcement of the month. That's because HBO Max announced it would be rebooting Canadian high school drama Degrassi, further strengthening its iron grip on the Teen Shows for Thirtysomethings market. Grade: A-

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Adding the complete series of ER to the HBO Max library was a definite win, and Sharon Stone getting cast as Kaley Cuoco's mom on the upcoming second season of The Flight Attendant is reason to celebrate as well. Grade: B+

    3. Hulu

    Previous Rank: 8

    Premieres: How I Met Your Father was Hulu's big horse this month, and while the reviews weren't great, this feels like the kind of show that got enough word of mouth that it could stick around long enough to get better. Grade: C+

    Projects Announced: Keanu Reeves starring in the loooooooong-awaited adaptation of Devil in the White City counts as a pretty great development. Hulu also won a bidding war for the Mahershala Ali-starring limited series The Plot, based on the novel by the author of the source material for The Undoing. They also picked up The Reboot, a meta-heavy comedy about the filming of a sitcom reboot from the creators of Modern Family. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The trailer for Pam & Tommy has got people absolutely insane for that show. Adding Shirley MacLaine and Amy Schumer to the second season of Only Murders in the Building is brilliant. And renewing The Great for Season 3 seemed like a no-brainer. Grade: A-

    4. Netflix

    Previous Rank: 2

    Premieres: Second seasons of Cheer and Too Hot to Handle were decent sized splashes for the Big Red Machine, but Ozark dropping the first half of its final season has been disappointing, as the law of diminishing returns seems to have hit that show hard. As always with Netflix, if you don't like what you're watching, there's always more, be it true crime (The Puppet Master), animation (The House), or comedy parody (The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window), but it's another month without a smash hit for Netflix, which now seems to be chasing that Squid Game dragon. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: As if they knew Apple's The Afterparty would be so good, Netflix announced an improv detective comedy with Will Arnett that looks fun and interesting, as well as an animated comedy where Nicole Byer and Lauren Lapkus play FBI agents. They're also rebooting Iron Chef, embarking on an Anna Nicole Smith documentary, and filming a docuseries on Novak Djokovic that will cover his recent deportation from Australia for not being vaccinated. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Renewing Emily in Paris for two more seasons but cancelling Gentefied feel like they cancel each other out. Grade: B

    5. Amazon Prime

    Previous Rank: 7

    Premieres: The series finale of The Expanse was probably Amazon's biggest development of the month, series-wise, in addition to premieres for As We See It and The Legend of Vox Machina. Grade: B-

    Projects Announced: It was a quiet month for Amazon. Nothing of note to mention here. Grade: N/A

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The release of a title and a teaser for Amazon's Lord of the Rings series — it's going to be called The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and will tell the story of how Sauron came to power — was huge and kick-started a tidal wave of anticipation for the series that is still many months away. It feels like every egg that isn't in The Lord of the Rings' basket is in The Boys, which announced a summer premiere date. Grade: A-

    6. Disney+

    Previous Rank: 6

    Premieres: Speaking of putting all one's eggs in a single basket, Disney's January was tied pretty heavily to the rollout of The Book of Boba Fett (which technically premiered at the very end of December but has aired new episodes all this month). Thus far that series has been pretty underwhelming, which feels like a lot of air being let out of a balloon and the first time D+ has fallen this flat with a franchise series. Grade: C+

    Projects Announced: Hopefully you're still holding a torch for The Santa Clause series, because Disney+ ordering a limited Santa Clause series starring Tim Allen is their biggest news this month. Grade: B-

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The Moon Knight trailer making its debut during ESPN's airing of the Rams-Cardinals playoff game gave the upcoming Oscar Isaac-starring series an air of anticipation on par with Marvel's theatrical releases. Grade: B+

    7. Peacock

    Previous Rank: 5

    Premieres: Neither Wolf Like Me nor the Ed Helms/Randall Park comedy True Story made much of a dent. Grade: C

    Projects Announced: Maybe it's the 10th anniversary of NBC's deeply cursed "Brotherhood of Man" Super Bowl ad that featured Chelsea Handler's failed memoir adaptation Are You There Chelsea?, but Peacock announcing yet another Chelsea Handler memoir adaptation feels like repeating the missteps of history. Grade: C

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Speaking of repeating the missteps of history, Peacock's Joe Exotic limited series starring Kate McKinnon got a title, a teaser, and a March release date. Grade: C

    8. Paramount+

    Previous Rank: 3

    Premieres: The Challenge: All-Stars aired yet another solid finale, although the show unpooled over two months, so it's hard to credit too heavily to January. Grade: B-

    Projects Announced: It was a very quiet month for Paramount+, which continues to suffer for not having a ton of programming. Grade: N/A

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Joshua Jackson joining the Lizzy Caplan Fatal Attraction series is intriguing, but that was pretty much it in a deeply silent January for P+. Grade: B-

    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: Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock