‘House of the Dragon’ Scores Big in Streaming Debut

‘House of the Dragon’ Scores Big in Streaming Debut

HBO’s House of the Dragon didn’t make Nielsen’s streaming rankings for the week of Aug. 15-21 — but only because it was available for just a few hours before the weekly tally ended.

According to Nielsen, the Game of Thrones prequel racked up 327 million minutes of viewing time on HBO Max in the few hours after its 9 p.m. ET premiere on Aug. 21. The streaming rankings measure viewing from Monday to Sunday, but even with that short a window, House of the Dragon nearly cracked the top 10 for the entire week: The No. 10 acquired series for Aug. 15-21 was the Canadian drama Heartland at 422 million minutes of viewing time.

(In future charts, House of the Dragon will be part of the acquired series rankings since Nielsen counts the show’s airing on the HBO cable channel as its first run.)

The series premiere has a 65-minute running time, which translates to an average of about 5.03 million viewers — more than twice as many as watched the show’s initial airing on the linear channel and half of the nearly 10 million viewers HBO claimed for the show’s opening night (it also had several on-air replays).

Game of Thrones also improved week to week in the lead-up to House of the Dragon, rising by 30 percent 559 million minutes of watch time.

Netflix’s The Sandman repeated as the No. 1 original series, though its 946 million minutes of viewing was down about 32 percent week to week. Stranger Things (919 million minutes) fell below the billion-minute mark for the first time since its fourth season premiered in late May. A League of Their Own (574 million) posted a 76 percent increase over its premiere week.

The premiere of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on Disney+ landed outside the top 10 original series, meaning its first episode (which premiered Aug. 18) amassed less than 395 million minutes of viewing — the amount for the 10th-place show, Instant Dream Home on Netflix.

NCIS led the acquired show rankings for the week with 810 million minutes of viewing time — but based on House of the Dragon’s start, there will be a new No. 1 for the next week.

Nielsen’s streaming ratings cover viewing on TV sets only and don’t include minutes watched on computers or mobile devices. The ratings only measure U.S. audiences, not those in other countries, and currently only include Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix and Prime Video. The top streaming series for Aug. 15-21 are below.

Original Series

1. The Sandman (Netflix), 946 million minutes viewed
2. Stranger Things (Netflix), 919 million minutes
3. Never Have I Ever (Netflix), 883 million
4. Locke & Key (Netflix), 776 million
5. Untold (Netflix), 630 million
6. Virgin River (Netflix), 629 million
7. A League of Their Own (Prime Video), 574 million
8. Echoes (Netflix), 524 million
9. Only Murders in the Building (Hulu), 415 million
10. Instant Dream Home (Netflix), 395 million

Acquired Series

1. NCIS (Netflix), 810 million minutes
2. Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix), 702 million
3. Bluey (Disney+), 681 million
4. Cocomelon (Netflix), 602 million
5. Game of Thrones (HBO Max), 559 million
6. The Big Bang Theory (HBO Max), 475 million
7. Friends (HBO Max), 467 million
8. Riverdale (Netflix), 454 million
9. Supernatural (Netflix), 432 million
10. Heartland (Netflix), 422 million