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'The Crown' Leads Nielsen Streaming Rankings in Huge Thanksgiving Week

The Crown (Courtesy of Netflix)

Six shows rack up more than a billion minutes of viewing time during the holiday, and Netflix's movie 'Hillbilly Elegy' makes the top 10.

Americans spent a lot of time streaming TV shows and movies over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Nielsen.

The top 10 programs in the ratings service's rankings for Nov. 23-29 accounted for the most viewing time of any week in the four months Nielsen has been releasing weekly lists. Led by Netflix's The Crown, the top 10 combined for 11.4 billion minutes of viewing time — 13 percent higher than the previous biggest week (Nov. 16-22).

Six shows and movies topped a billion minutes, a first for the rankings. The top 10 also featured a majority of original series and movies for the first time; previously, no more than five originals had made the rankings in a single week.

The Crown led the rankings for the second straight week with more than 2.2 billion minutes of viewing time in the United States. Netflix's movie The Christmas Chronicles 2 (1.52 billion) and drama series Virgin River (1.3 billion), whose second season premiered Nov. 27, came in second and third.

Disney+'s The Mandalorian (1.21 billion), The Office (1.14 billion) and Netflix's The Queen's Gambit (1.07 billion) also passed the billion-minute mark. Feature film Hillbilly Elegy, which debuted Nov. 24 on Netflix, racked up 787 million minutes, equivalent to a little under 6.8 million complete showings of the 116-minute movie.

The week's most viewed show on traditional TV was a Thanksgiving NFL game on Fox. Its average audience of 30.33 million viewers would equate to well above 5 billion minutes of viewing time.

Nielsen's streaming rankings currently cover Netflix, Disney+, Amazon and Hulu. HBO Max debuted The Flight Attendant on Thanksgiving and has said the show is its most watched original series to date but hasn't released any numbers.

Streaming platforms contend Nielsen's methodology doesn't capture the full scope of viewing on devices other than TV sets. Nielsen also only measures U.S. audiences, not those in other countries.

Nielsen's top 10 streaming programs for Nov. 23-29 are below, with the prior week's rank in parentheses. Original streaming series and films are marked with an asterisk.

1 (1). The Crown* (Netflix), 2.22 billion minutes viewed 2 (nr). The Christmas Chronicles 2* (Netflix), 1.52 billion 3 (nr). Virgin River* (Netflix), 1.3 billion 4 (4). The Mandalorian* (Disney+), 1.21 billion 5 (3). The Office (Netflix), 1.14 billion --> (Now on Peacock) 6 (2). The Queen's Gambit* (Netflix), 1.07 billion 7 (nr). Hillbilly Elegy* (Netflix), 787 million 8 (6). Grey's Anatomy (Netflix), 750 million 9 (8). Criminal Minds (Netflix), 713 million 10 (5). Schitt's Creek (Netflix), 697 million

THR's Rick Porter contributed to this post.


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