Streaming power ranking February 2022: Apple stays on top, but Hulu is gaining ground
Pictures: Apple TV+, Hulu, Paramount+, Netflix.
At the end of each month, Primetimer’s Joe Reid studies the rippling fortunes of the eight major streaming platforms for our streaming power rankings.
It was a busy February for television as a number of exciting new series – the highly anticipated Invent Anna; the workplace sci-fi drama Breakup; the Fresh Prince update Bel-Air – supported some of the streamers, while an influx of newly announced projects with big stars and producers made for particularly competitive rankings.
A reminder: our rankings are calculated on the basis of the following criteria: new shows (i.e. shows that have aired in preview or new seasons in preview), projects that have been announced and bonus points (and/or demerits) which take into account elements such as broadcasting, cancellations, rewards or important good/bad buzz.
Let’s move on to this month’s ranking:
Previous ranking: 1
Firsts: The drama of the kidnapping plot Suspicion created to a pretty average reaction, but Ben Stiller’s sci-fi workplace psychodrama Breakup — starring Adam Scott, John Turturro and Patricia Arquette — is a critical favorite and looks set to gain momentum in the cultural conversation over the coming weeks. Rating: A-
Announced projects: Apple announced a tonne future projects this month, including a series adaptation of the Harrison Ford forensic thriller presumed innocent will be produced by JJ Abrams and David E. Kelley; Connie Britton teams up with her Friday night lights producer Jason Katims for Dear Edward; Kristen Wiig (and possibly Laura Dern) in the 1970s Mrs. American Pie; Ben Mendelsohn and Juliette Binoche in a new series on Christian Dior’s fashion journey; and Rashida Jones in the dark comedy/sci-fi Sunny. Rating: A
Bonus points/demerits: Amanda Seyfried has signed on to star alongside Tom Holland in the upcoming series The crowded roomwhich can only bolster Apple’s reputation as the star-studded streamer. Grade: B+
Previous ranking: 3
Firsts: Pam and Tommy has been one of the most talked about streaming series since its debut, joining the second season of doll face like Hulu’s two big premieres this month. Grade: B+
Announced projects: Hulu is moving forward with The golden spoona limited series of Crazy ex-girlfriend co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna which takes place during a televised baking competition. Rating: A-
Bonus points/demerits: A second season renewal for how i met your father is big, and this one will be a big 20-episode season. We also got the first Amanda Seyfried trailer with The stall, about Theranos fraudster Elizabeth Holmes. And Only murders in the building remains a guest star bonanza, adding Michael Rapaport and Andrea Martin for its second season this month. Rating: A-
3. Amazon Prime
Previous ranking: 5
Firsts: After real months of sleep, Amazon came to life in February with the new series To reach – based on the novels that served as the basis for Tom Cruise’s film – and the long-awaited fourth season of their flagship comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Grade: B+
Announced projects: Amazon’s Strategy to Fight More High-Volume Streamers with Fewer But Costlier Items Continues With Announcement Ridley Scott Will Produce a new blade runner continuation of the series called Blade Runner 2099. Grade: B+
Bonus points/demerits: A Super Bowl trailer for September The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power pretty much cemented Amazon in the conversation for the most anticipated streaming series of 2022. Rating: A-
Previous ranking: 7
Firsts: Peacock’s most tangible success this month was the well-received dramatic remake Bel-Airstarring Jabari Banks as a less comedic Will Smith transplanted to West Philadelphia. Grade: B+
Announced projects: If success is not guaranteed, a new series based on a novel by Liane Moriarty (the author of big little lies and Nine perfect strangers) is a big deal, so there is a lot of anticipation for apples never fallabout the disappearance of a wife and a mother. A family friend is a domestic drama starring Anna Paquin and Jake Lacy. And a pair of professional football docuseries have been announced: one about the history of black NFL quarterbacks and another about the New England Patriots dynasty of the Aughts and the 2010s. Category B
Bonus points/demerits: The day and date release of Jennifer Lopez’s romantic comedy Marry me Valentine’s Day weekend drew a ton of publicity for the platform. Category B
Previous ranking: 4
Firsts: Invent Anna had the highest expectations of anything on Netflix’s slate this month, and while critics were puzzled, it was still a major streaming release. Better received, albeit on a smaller scale, was the improvised Will Arnett murder mystery series Murderville. We also have the required crook docu-series The Tinder scammeras well as the highly anticipated second season of Love is blindwho managed to maintain a lot of interest after what could easily have been a whirlwind first season. Grade: B+
Announced projects: Speaking of required scammer series, Netflix continues to piece together its quiver when it comes to actual fraud stories, including a fairly timely upcoming series about a bitcoin heist. There is also the next series of Taipei gangsters The Sun Brothers which is co-produced by american horror storyit’s Brad Falchuk. And perhaps the most promising of all is the comedy series blockbustera Melissa Fumero/Randall Park comedy set in the last remaining Blockbuster Video store. Category B
Bonus points/demerits: Keri Russell has been cast as the lead in the anticipated upcoming series The diplomat, on, yes, a diplomat. There was also the announcement that all Marvel TV series produced for Netflix (daredevil, Jessica Jones, The defenders, etc.) will leave the platform at the end of February. And in a monument to the lasting effect of cancel culture, Dave Chappelle will produce four new stand-up specials for Netflix. Category B-
Previous ranking: 6
Firsts: A very quiet month for Disney, with only the animated series The proud family: stronger and prouder first. Category B-
Announced projects: After street of fear was so successfully adapted on Netflix, D+ is now in the RL Stine game with an upcoming 10-episode series based on Goose bumps. Also in the works is chinese born americana fantasy series starring Michelle Yeoh and directed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton. Grade: B+
Bonus points/demerits: Doogie Kamealoha MD renewing for a second season is great news. Just as Catherine Zeta-Jones joins the cast of the next Disney+ national treasure series. On the other hand, the announcement that Netflix’s Marvel TV shows are leaving Netflix was not (yet) accompanied by an announcement that they would like will be coming to Disney+, which is less bad news than a very long wait for good news. Category B
Previous ranking: 2
Firsts: The sci-fi drama Raised by wolves returned for a second season, again to widespread critical acclaim but still not really penetrating mainstream cultural conversation. Similarly, the Gugu Mbatha-Raw/David Oyelowo limited series featuring The girl before had strong Hithcock vibes as a stylish thriller, but no one was talking. Category B
Announced projects: The girl on the bus is an upcoming series based on reporting from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, starring producer Greg Berlanti and his super girl star Melissa Benoist, which sounds intriguing to say the least. Category B
Bonus points/demerits: We learned this month that the project Bled the reboot, which had been in the works since the platform launched, is now dead in the water, which is a bummer. Rating: C
Previous ranking: 8
Firsts: Again, Paramount+ just doesn’t air new original shows regularly enough to stay out of the power rating basement. Rating: D
Announced projects: There’s hope that this slowness will turn around in the future as they’ve ordered a whole bunch of new shows this week. With 1883 continuing to have a good buzz, P+ got the green light youno new series from Taylor Sheridan: the spy series produced by Nicole Kidman Lioness with Zoe Saldaña, and earth manstarring Billy Bob Thornton and based on the Booming city Podcast. Dear Whites creator Justin Simien will direct a film based on the 1980s film lightning dance. James Ponsoldt (The spectacular now) will direct a film based on the 1980s film Urban cowboy. We also get a new star trek series called “Starfleet Academy” and a CBS procedural reboot Criminal minds. Grade: B+
Bonus points/demerits: The good news is that the South Park library is moving from HBO Max to Paramount+ in 2025. The bad news is that amorphous rights issues have forced Paramount to pull seasons of Australian Survivor of their service after only being available for a few weeks. Grade: C+
Joe Reid is an editor 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 AV Club and more.