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The Kardashians Crash April's Streaming Power Rankings

A bad month for Netflix was a great one for Hulu.
  • Photos: NBC, Hulu, Netflix, ABC.
    Photos: NBC, Hulu, Netflix, ABC.

    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.

    A pair of strong series launches saw HBO Max top March's streaming power rankings, but while Netflix licked its chops over declining subscriber numbers, Andrew Garfield, Nicole Kidman, and the Kardashians helped propel other streamers to the top spots this month.

    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. Hulu

    Previous Rank: 3

    Premieres: The migration of the Kardashian reality TV empire from E! to Hulu was April's top headline-earner, but it was two prestige TV projects late in the month that earned the streamer its best buzz: the surprisingly affecting true-crime docuseries Captive Audience, followed by this week's premiere of the excellent Under the Banner of Heaven, starring Andrew Garfield. Grade: A-

    Projects Announced: Lee Daniels is producing an eight-part limited series on the life and career of Sammy Davis Jr. starring Hairspray's Elijah Kelley. Bridgerton director Julie Anne Robinson is set to direct the 1907 Amsterdam-set musical drama History of a Pleasure Seeker. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The Kardashians premiered to Hulu's strongest-ever numbers among American audiences, good news in a month where certain other streamers were wading through very bad news. Grade: A

    2. Apple TV+

    Previous Rank: 5

    Premieres: As is its custom, Apple rolled out a bunch of new series with big, starry talent this month. The spy series Slow Horses stars Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas. Roar is a feminist anthology series featuring the likes of Nicole Kidman, Betty Gilpin, Cynthia Erivo, and Merritt Wever. Shining Girls is a thriller featuring Elisabeth Moss. Even the streamer's big docuseries of the month, They Call Me Magic, was a star-studded affair about one of the most famous basketball players of all time, featuring interviews with both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Grade: B+

    Projects Announced: The big news is that Apple signed Harrison Ford to star in his first ever regular TV series role the comedy series Shrinking, from Jason Segel and Ted Lasso producers Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein. Ford will play a behavioral therapist diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Constellation is a psychological thriller set in space and is set to star Better Call Saul's Jonathan Banks and Prometheus's Noomi Rapace. British comedian (and Great British Bake-Off host) Noel Fielding will star in a new series about a highway robber in an untitled upcoming series. Grade: A-

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The Severance season finale was largely well received, positioning the show for a highly anticipated (and already announced) second season. Grade: A-

    3. Peacock

    Previous Rank: 2

    Premieres: The Craig Robinson comedy Killing It and the Snoop Dogg-hosted comedy panel show So Dumb It's Criminal were the highlights of a quiet month on Peacock. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: Aidy Bryant and Lorne Michaels announced a new comedy series called Cheeky. Rian Johnson is re-teaming with his longtime muse Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the new series Poker Face. Jason Bateman and The Boys producer Craig Rosenberg will team up for the comedic thriller Based on a True Story. And perhaps most exciting of all, Justin Lin and Steven Yeun will executive produce the historical drama series The Islands. Grade: A-

    Bonus Points/Demerits: It's not much, but a new trailer for Girls5Eva brings the second season ever closer. Grade: B-

    4. Amazon Prime

    Previous Rank: 6

    Premieres: The supernatural western series Outer Range and the sequel season A Very British Scandal made for a pair of strong debuts for Amazon this month. Grade: B+

    Projects Announced: The new comedy series The Suck is set to star Broad City and The Afterparty star Ilana Glazer. Also announced was the heist comedy about a maple syrup robbery in Canada called The Sticky with producer Jamie Lee Curtis. Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The bad news is that Phoebe Waller-Bridge dropped out of the remake of Mr. and Mrs. Smith with Donald Glover, but the good news is that PEN15 star Maya Erskine will be taking her place. Grade: B

    5. HBO MAX

    Previous Rank: 1

    Premieres: The new Michael Mann-directed, Ansel Elgort-starring drama Tokyo Vice premiered to strong reviews (even if we here found it excruciatingly slow-moving), and the second season premiere of The Flight Attendant was cause for cheering among that show's fans. Also returning was the second half of the weight-loss cult docuseries The Way Down. Grade: B

    Projects Announced: HBO and Warner Bros.' partnership with the DC Comics universe made for the bulk of this month's announcements, which included Doom Patrol offshoot Dead Boy Detectives and a Charlize Theron-produced series about the origins of DC's Aqualads. Plus, HBO and Robert Downey Jr. are working on a potential TV universe for Downey's Sherlock Holmes films. But easily the most promising news is that Station Eleven book author Emily St. John Mandel and showrunner Patrick Somerville are teaming up to produce TV series on her other two novels. Grade: B+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: With Netflix bleeding subscribers, this month's news that HBO Max had gained subscribers seems doubly good. Grade: B-

    6. Paramount+

    Previous Rank: 8

    Premieres: This was a big month for Paramount, with The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans reuniting one of the show's most beloved casts, followed by The Offer, the much-ballyhooed making-of-The Godfather series starring Miles Teller. Grade: B+

    Projects Announced: Paramount ordered a TV drama The Turkish Detective based on the 24-novel book series. Grade: C+

    Bonus Points/Demerits: The upcoming season of The Good Fight keeps getting more and more exciting, with the announced return of Carrie Preston and the addition of guest star John Slattery. Grade: B

    7. Netflix

    Previous Rank: 4

    Premieres: Netflix's customary deluge of programming included two highly anticipated series returns late this week: the final batch of Ozark episodes and the final batch of Grace and Frankie episodes. This follows new seasons of Selling Sunset, Elite, and the highly anticipated return of Russian Doll. On top of that, Anatomy of a Scandal debuted, as did The Ultimatum, which, like Love Is Blind and Too Hot to Handle before it, seemed to settle in as everybody's guilty pleasure of the month. Grade: A-

    Projects Announced: Rob Lowe is lining up a new project with Santa Clarita Diet and Better Off Ted creator Victor Fresco, and Jessica Alba will return to TV with the psychological thriller Confessions on the 7:45, but the biggest news is rumblings that a prequel series to The Crown might be on the horizon. Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: It was a rough month for Netflix as dipping subscriber numbers and a plunging stock price had the whole industry musing over where Netflix had gone wrong. Add to that a sexual harrassment scandal for The Fall of the House of Usher, which dropped actor Frank Langella after allegations of inappropriate conduct, and it was a bad, bad PR month for Big Red. Grade: D

    8. Disney+

    Previous Rank: 7

    Premieres: New weekly Moon Knight episodes were pretty much the highlight. Grade: C

    Projects Announced: A Small Light will be an eight-episode limited series about the people who hid Anne Frank from the Nazis, starring Pablo Schrieber and The Morning Show's Bel Powley. Grade: B

    Bonus Points/Demerits: Dancing with the Stars moving from ABC to Disney+ is both an opportunity and a test for the streaming service to see how well it can handle a weekly reality competition. 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: Hulu, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, Prime Video