‘Stranger Things’ return encourages weekend binging

Jun 1, 2022, 3:37 PM | Updated: 3:43 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — For millions of fans of Netflix’s sci-fi drama “Stranger Things,” there’s little mystery in how they spent their Memorial Day weekend.

Netflix released seven new episodes of the show’s much awaited fourth season and said that a record-setting 286 million hours were streamed over the weekend. That’s the biggest premiere ever for an English-language show on the service, beating the 193 hours for the second season of “Bridgerton,” earlier this year.

It’s a welcome dose of good news for Netflix, whose financial troubles have kept business reporters occupied this year.

The fourth season of “Stranger Things” is being released in two chunks, with two more episodes expected in July before the show wraps up with a fifth season.

With long, richly-produced episodes, the new season felt a bit like a throwback to Netflix’s glory days — and that isn’t necessarily a good thing, critic Daniel D’Addario wrote for Variety.

“The show has high ambitions and meets them — but in so doing sacrifices charm and humanity on the altar of looking and feeling expensive,” he wrote.

Others found the new episodes thrilling. The fourth of the seven episodes just offered was “one of the finest hour and seventeen minutes of television I’ve seen in a long time,” culture contributor Erik Kain wrote for Forbes.

“Stranger Things” and a strong performance over the weekend by new episodes of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” on Disney+ show that the two big streamers are effective in building franchises that appeal to passionate fans but also attract new users, said Cole Strain, vice president of measurement products at the research firm Samba TV.

Unlike broadcast and cable television, the streamers don’t offer estimates on how many people are actually watching the shows.

Meanwhile, on broadcast last week, NBC reached nearly 6.4 million viewers for the series finale of “This Is Us,” with the numbers expected to rise through delayed viewing.

CBS led the week in prime time, averaging 3.9 million viewers last week. ABC had 2.9 million, NBC had 2.86 million, Fox had 2.3 million, Univision had 1.3 million, Ion Television had 890,000 and Telemundo had 810,000.

ESPN led the cable networks, averaging 3.4 million viewers last week. Fox News Channel had 2.17 million, TNT had 2.14 million, MSNBC had 992,000 and HGTV had 911,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race with an average of 7.4 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 6.3 million and the “CBS Evening News” clocked in at 4.6 million.

For the week of May 23-29, the 20 most-watched shows, their networks and viewerships:

1. NBA Playoffs: Boston at Miami (Sunday), ESPN, 9.88 million.

2. “NCIS,” CBS, 7.47 million.

3. NBA Playoffs: Miami at Boston (Friday), ESPN, 7.19 million.

4. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 7.03 million.

5. NBA Playoffs: Dallas at Golden State (Thursday), Turner, 6.79 million.

6. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 6.43 million.

7. NBA Playoffs: Boston at Miami (Wednesday), ESPN, 6.42 million.

8. NBA Playoffs: Miami at Boston (Monday), ABC, 6.41 million.

9. “This is Us,” NBC, 6.38 million.

10. NBA Playoffs: Golden State at Dallas (Tuesday), Turner, 6.194 million.

11. “FBI,” CBS, 6.191 million.

12. “Chicago PD,” NBC, 5.98 million.

13. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 5.91 million.

14. “Bob Hearts Abishola,” CBS, 5.7 million.

15. “NCIS: Hawai’i,” CBS, 5.47 million.

16. “FBI: International,” CBS, 5.32 million.

17. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 5.31 million.

18. Special Report: Biden in Texas, CBS, 5.26 million.

19. “Survivor,” CBS, 5.11 million.

20. “FBI: Most Wanted,” CBS, 4.77 million.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
2 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
10 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
10 days ago
Tom Brundy points to a newly built irrigation canal on one of the fields at his farm Tuesday, Feb. ...
Associated Press

Southwest farmers reluctant to idle farmland to save water

There is a growing sense that fallowing will have to be part of the solution to the increasingly desperate drought in the West.
17 days ago
A young bison calf stands in a pond with its herd at Bull Hollow, Okla., on Sept. 27, 2022. The cal...
Associated Press

US aims to restore bison herds to Native American lands after near extinction

U.S. officials will work to restore more large bison herds to Native American lands under a Friday order from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
17 days ago
Children play in a dried riverbed in Flassans-sur-Issole, southern France, Wednesday, March 1, 2023...
Associated Press

Italy, France confront 2nd year of western Europe drought

ROME (AP) — Bracing for Italy’s second consecutive year of drought for the first time in decades, Premier Giorgia Meloni huddled with ministers Wednesday to start mapping out an action plan Wednesday, joining France and other nations in western Europe grappling with scant winter rain and snow. Meloni and her ministers decided to appoint an […]
19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
‘Stranger Things’ return encourages weekend binging