Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Fubar’ Takes Netflix Back to the Top | Charts

Netflix wanted action, and it got it in the last week of May, as the premiere episode of “Fubar” came in at No. 1, followed by three more episodes in the top 10, according to the latest Wrap Report, which provides an exclusive first look at the most-watched movies and individual TV programs from the past week across both streaming and linear television from data analyzed from Samba TV’s panel of more than 3 million households drawn from over 25 million connected TVs balanced to the U.S. Census.

The action series is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first real foray into TV. Netflix’s new chief action officer, as he’s dubbed in a new ad campaign, plays a CIA agent who attempts to retire but gets roped into one last mission, only to learn his estranged daughter is also an operative and they now must work together.

Top streaming programs, May 24-30, 2023, U.S. (Samba TV)
Top streaming programs, May 24-30, 2023, U.S. (Samba TV)

While the show’s title is an acronym for a colorful expression for when things go terribly wrong, everything went right for Netflix as 1.9 million U.S. households tuned into the premiere episode during the first four days available to stream. Surprisingly, it wasn’t older fans who have watched Schwarzenegger for decades that drove the big numbers, but rather younger Gen Z viewers who propelled viewership for the premiere. These households overindexed by 11%, the highest margin of any age group for episode one compared to the average US household.

“Missing,” a thriller released theatrically earlier this year and now streaming on Netflix, slid into second place for the week of May 24-30, followed by episodes 2 and 3 of “Fubar,” proving audiences continued watching the Arnold-led series after the premiere. Rounding out the top five was the penultimate episode of “Ted Lasso,” which has been one of Apple TV+’s biggest streaming successes to date.

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Netflix accounts for the next three spots on the leaderboard. After two weeks at No. 1, Jennifer Lopez’s “The Mother” fell to no. 6 this week. The next two films on the charts are Netflix-provided recommendations for similar content, indicating that audiences who watched “The Mother” continued to look for new or older releases that the streamer picked for those who watched the action spy film. Making it a true family affair, 2022 film “The Son” starring Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern took the No. 7 spot, while Polish film “Mother’s Day” nabbed No. 8.

“Air” on Amazon Prime Video followed suit at No. 10. Another theaters-to-streaming release on the charts this week, the Ben Affleck movie has demonstrated staying power for Amazon.

Top linear programs, May 24-30, 2023, U.S. (Samba TV)
Top linear programs, May 24-30, 2023, U.S. (Samba TV)

On linear television, the week spelled a mix of superheroes: Jedi knights, starship captains, kung-fu masters, and first responders. That’s alongside game show contestants and quiz-show wizzes.

The first two installments of the original Star Wars trilogy, “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” took the top two linear telecasts after airing on TNT on Memorial Day. Then it was on to a trio of game shows, as episodes of “America’s Got Talent,” “Jeopardy! Masters,” and “Survivor” round out the top five.

NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” and “Chicago P.D.” are no strangers to the weekly top 10, and captured spots Nos. 6, 7 and 9 respectively.

Closing out the top 10 were two massive movie franchises with Memorial Day weekend airings. Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” was a big draw for ABC, while CBS drew a crowd with 2009’s “Star Trek: Into Darkness” on Friday night.

Meredith Brace is the chief marketing officer at Samba TV, a WrapPRO partner. Click here for more data and analysis from Samba TV.

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