‘The Diplomat’ Lands at the Top of Streaming’s Most-Watched | Charts

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Netflix continues to find success with its investment in American political thrillers. Fresh off its latest hit, “The Night Agent,” the streamer dipped back into its winning formula with “The Diplomat” debuting at No. 1 on the streaming charts in the latest Wrap Report, with three-quarters of its episodes also nabbing spots on the most-watched list. The series delivered a sizable premiere audience of 1.3 million U.S. households within the first several days streaming, according to the report for the week of April 19-25.

The Wrap Report tracks the most-watched programs across linear TV and streaming, according to viewership trends collected from Samba TV’s panel of more than 3 million households drawn from over 25 million connected TVs, balanced to the U.S. Census.

Top streaming programs, April 19-25, 2023, U.S. (Samba TV)
Top streaming programs, April 19-25, 2023, U.S. (Samba TV)

The project, starring Keri Russell and featuring showrunner Debora Cahn of “The West Wing” and “Homeland,” taps into the passions of a broad swath of political junkies throughout the country. Viewership was fueled by residents of the epicenter of political action: Washingtonians overindexed by 65%. If early audiences are any indication, the eight-part series could be destined to become Netflix’s next big hit.

While younger Millennial audiences tended to flock to Netflix’s other political drama “The Night Agent,” “The Diplomat” brought in older viewers with Baby Boomer households overindexing by 19%. It is clear Netflix has its finger on the genre of the moment: The streamer’s ability to craft multiple programs that draw in diverse audiences is yet another reason why it dominates the charts week after week.

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Disney+ found the way to the No. 2 spot with the Season 3 finale of “The Mandalorian.” Over 600,000 households tuned into the finale the day it came out, and 1.4 million households streamed the episode in its first five days. Yet the finale failed to land when compared to the show’s historical performance. The final episode was down by 14% compared to the premiere earlier this season, and saw an even steeper 36% drop compared to “The Mandalorian” Season 2 finale. To its credit, the finale overindexed among Gen Z (ages 20-24) and older Millennials (ages 35-44), but failed to land with older audiences like Baby Boomers, who underindexed, according to data within that same time frame.

It was a big week for Apple TV+ with two of its programs, fan-favorite “Ted Lasso” and original movie “Ghosted” capturing No. 4 and No. 8, respectively. The star power of Chris Evans and Ana de Armas in “Ghosted” may have helped to propel the breakout movie to outperform nearly every other Apple TV+ movie premiere in the past year. The film offered action-packed adventure combined with romance and drama, offering something for everyone in the household. This is a welcome sign for Apple TV+, which has historically lagged behind its streaming competitors in terms of content.

Rounding out the top 10 was another Netflix original, “A Tourist’s Guide to Love” starring Rachael Leigh Cook in a search for romance across the globe.

Top linear programs, April 19-25, 2023, U.S. (Samba TV)
Top linear programs, April 19-25, 2023, U.S. (Samba TV)

On broadcast TV, reality singing competitions reigned once again as ABC’s “American Idol” and NBC’s “The Voice” swept the top three spots for the week. Back at No. 1 was “American Idol” revealing the 20 finalists of the season who performed live and then narrowing them down to the final 12 this week. The Knockout Rounds continued on NBC’s “The Voice” with country legend Reba McEntire serving as the Mega Mentor. Longest-running funny video television program “America’s Funniest Home Videos” still managed to keep America chuckling at No. 5. Meanwhile, CBS’s scripted dramas swept five of the top 10 spots on television for the week, with “FBI,” “FBI: International,” “The Equalizer,” “Blue Bloods,” and “Fire Country.”

Dallas Lawrence is the SVP and head of communications and brand at Samba TV, a WrapPRO partner. Follow him on Twitter at @DallasLawrence. For more from Samba TV, click here.

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