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‘Lucifer’ Viewership Surges Higher in Nielsen’s Streaming Ratings

The second half of "Lucifer" Season 5 continued to court a large viewership even after its big premiere week.




Lucifer” quickly overtook every other streaming show in viewership when the second half of Season 5 premiered on Netflix near the end of May. The initial success of the Tom Ellis-led fantasy series wasn’t a fluke; Nielsen’s latest batch of streaming data indicates that the show is only continuing to grow in popularity.

Nielsen’s latest report on the Top 10 most-watched streaming television shows stated that “Lucifer” was viewed for over 1.83 billion minutes from May 31 to June 6. The show’s popularity was such that its viewership exceeded that of the following three show’s on Nielsen’s list: Netflix’s “Sweet Tooth” and “The Kominsky Method” came in second and third place with 794 million and 507 million minutes watched, respectively. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu’s tentpole television drama, came in fourth place on Nielsen’s list with 473 million minutes watched.

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 streamers do not regularly release their own verifiable viewership data.

“Lucifer” is based on the DC Comics superhero of the same name. The character was originally created by Neil Gaiman, who is serving as an executive producer on Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of his popular “The Sandman” comic book. The Netflix adaptation of “Lucifer” centers on Ellis, who abandons Hell to create a life for himself in Los Angeles. The latest batch of Season 5 episodes focus on God’s decision to retire and Lucifer’s efforts to succeed him.

“Lucifer” has long been a strong ratings driver for Netflix following the streamer’s acquisition of the show in 2018, but its success was never guaranteed. The show originally premiered on Fox in 2016 and suffered from an initially poor critical reception and low ratings throughout much of its early seasons. Though Fox cancelled the series in 2018, Netflix quickly picked up the series for a fourth season and the show’s critical reception and viewership has steadily increased since then.

As for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the most popular non-Netflix title on Nielsen’s latest streaming report, the Elisabeth Moss-led dystopian drama began rolling out its fourth season on Hulu in April and its Season 4 finale premiered on June 16. The show has long been a strong ratings driver for Hulu and has enjoyed critical success; IndieWire’s Ben Travers praised the show’s fourth season, particularly its latter half, as “utterly transportive” in his grade B review in April.

As with last week’s Nielsen report, Amazon Prime Video’s “Panic” marked the only other non-Netflix show to crack Nielsen’s latest list of most-watched streaming television shows. The teen drama was viewed for 195 million minutes, according to Nielsen.

1. Lucifer (Netflix) – 1,838 million minutes

2. Sweet Tooth (Netflix) – 794 million minutes

3. The Kominsky Method (Netflix) – 507 million minutes

4. The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) – 473 million minutes

5. Ragnarok (Netflix) – 404 million minutes

6. Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous (Netflix) – 278 million minutes

7. Who Killed Sara (Netflix) – 206 million minutes

8. Panic (2021) (Amazon Prime Video) – 195 million minutes

9. Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) – 179 million minutes

10. The Great British Baking Show (Netflix) – 174 million minutes

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