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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Shoots to the Top of Nielsen’s Streaming Ratings

"The Handmaid's Tale," which premiered its fourth season on Hulu earlier in the year, continues to be a major ratings driver for Hulu.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 4

Elisabeth Moss in “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Hulu’s flagship television show is taking the streaming industry by storm.

“The Handmaid’s Tale,” which premiered its fourth season on Hulu in April, cracked the top of Nielsen’s most recent report on the most-watched streaming television shows. The Elisabeth Moss-led series, which is a dystopian drama and adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, has long been a strong viewership driver and critical success for the Disney-owned streaming service. Nielsen reported that the show was watched for 516 million minutes from May 17 to May 23, the most recent time frame for which numbers are available.

Nielsen’s data is only based on United States audiences using TV sets and only covers Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+. The company releases its streaming data reports on a roughly one-month delay due to an arrangement with the aforementioned streaming services. The entertainment industry’s major streaming services do not regularly release their own viewership data.

Aside from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Amazon Prime Video’s “The Underground Railroad,” which hails from “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins, was the only non-Netflix show to appear in Nielsen’s latest streaming viewership report. The limited series, which is adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning alternate history slavery novel by Colson Whitehead, was viewed for 289 million minutes, making it the seventh most-watched series on Nielsen’s list. IndieWire’s Ben Travers lauded the series as an “American masterpiece” in his grade A review in May.

Eight Netflix titles rounded out the rest of Nielsen’s list of most-watched shows. Among those titles was “Jupiter’s Legacy,” which was the third most-viewed show on Nielsen’s list with 405 million minutes watched. “Jupiter’s Legacy,” which was cancelled shortly after it premiered, had topped Nielsen’s weekly streaming viewership reports for several weeks despite poor reviews from critics. The superhero show was an adaptation of the Mark Millar comic book series of the same name and served as one of Netflix’s first big-budget superhero series.

Nielsen’s top 10 streaming television ratings for May 17 through May 23 can be viewed below:

1. The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) – 516 million minutes

2. Who Killed Sara (Netflix) – 500 million minutes

3. Jupiter’s Legacy (Netflix) – 405 million minutes

4. Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous (Netflix) – 379 million minutes

5. The Upshaws (Netflix) – 357 million minutes

6. Lucifer (Netflix) – 321 million minutes

7. The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime Video) – 289 million minutes

8. Halston (Netflix) – 211 million minutes

9. Shadow and Bone (Netflix) – 199 million minutes

10. Castlevania (Netflix) – 188 million minutes

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