Season Two of ‘Castle Rock’ on Disc May 19

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Castle Rock: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 19 (order date April 14). The season will be released for digital sellthrough Jan. 21. The Blu-ray will include a redemption code for a digital copy.

The disc release will include all 10 episodes from the second season of the Hulu original series about the small town that’s inhabited by author Stephen King’s most infamous literary characters.

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In season two, a feud between warring clans comes to a boil when budding psychopath Annie Wilkes (Lizzie Caplan), from Misery, gets waylaid in Castle Rock. Local businessman Reginald “Pop” Merrill (Tim Robbins) is dragged into the fight, when Pop’s nephew, legendary bully John “Ace” Merrill (Paul Sparks), stirs up trouble.

Season two also stars Barkhad Abdi, Yusra Warsama, Elsie Fisher and Matthew Alan.

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The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King stories such as Cujo, The Dark Half, It, Needful Things, The Body and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

The season two disc includes the featurette “Annie Wilkes: Mother of Sorrow.”

Hulu Tops 25 Million Subs

Hulu on Jan. 8 announced it added 8 million subscribers in 2018 to bring its year-end total to 25 million subscribers across its subscription on demand (SVOD) and live TV plans in the United States.

That’s a  47% year-over-year increase in subscribers for Hulu, although the subscription streamer did not break out how many subscribers only use its SVOD service.

“Consumers have spoken loudly about their desire for more choice and control in their TV experience. They are seeing the enormous benefits of streaming, they’re deciding which content and brands are most important to them, and they’re choosing Hulu,” Hulu CEO Randy Freer said in a statement.

Hulu said one of the more notable viewing trends it saw in 2018 was that consumers place a great deal of value on having a comprehensive, flexible viewing experience. Viewers who subscribe to Hulu + Live TV spend 50%  of their time watching on-demand or recorded programming. Accordingly, Hulu invested significantly in securing exclusive content and enhancing its streaming technology to support a superior experience across its live and on-demand plans.

Also in 2018, Hulu expanded its on-demand library to more than 85,000 episodes in 2018, adding more current series to its roster including “The Good Doctor,” “Killing Eve,” “The Orville,” “Superstore” and “Grown-ish.”

Hulu announced it grew its advertising revenue more than 45% to nearly $1.5 billion – the most in the Hulu’s history – and increased its advertiser base by 50%.

The median age of a Hulu viewer is 32 – nearly 25 years younger than the average broadcast TV viewer (56) – and the average annual household income of a Hulu viewer rose to $93,000 in 2018, according to the company.

Binge viewing is prevalent on Hulu. Looking at the top 100 shows on Hulu, over half of all viewing sessions consist of three or more episodes of the same series, the company announced.

Following its two Golden Globe wins for Season 1, Hulu’s hit drama “The Handmaid’s Tale” returned in Season 2 with a 76% gain in total consumption compared to Season 1.

“Castle Rock” was Hulu’s highest performing new original of 2018 and was the second-highest performing Hulu Original this year, behind “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

First Season of ‘Castle Rock’ Available for Digital Download Oct. 15, on Disc Jan. 8

The first season of Hulu original series “Castle Rock” will be available for digital purchase Oct. 15, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Jan. 8 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The psychological horror series is based on the works of Stephen King and brings together elements from several of his books to follow the story of an attorney (André Holland) who is embroiled in a mystery in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. The first season consists of 10 episodes.

Bill Skarsgård, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Lynskey, Jane Levy and Terry O’Quinn also star. The series is executive produced by King, J.J. Abrams, Sam Shaw, Dustin Thomason, Ben Stephenson, Mark Lafferty and Liz Glotzer.

Extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes for each episode, plus new featurettes “Blood on the Page” and “A Clockwork of Horror: Merging the styles of Stephen King & J.J. Abrams.”

Demand for ‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’ Nearly Doubles as Amazon Series Breaks Into Digital Originals Top 10

A modest rise in demand of less than 5% was enough to propel “Stranger Things” into the No. 1 position on the digital originals chart for the week ended Sept. 8, breaking a five-week hold on the top chart position by “Orange is the New Black,” Parrot Analytics data shows.

Both digital originals series are from Netflix. “Orange,” a drama about women in prison, saw its Demand Expressions fall by about 6% during the week, to 31.4 million,  and finished the week at No. 2.

“Demand Expressions” is a proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

A third Netflix series, “Ozark” shot up to No. 2 from No. 10 the previous week, thanks to an 85% spike in Demand Expressions the week after the launch of Season 2. “Ozark” stars Jason Bateman as financial planner Marty Byrde, who relocates his family from a Chicago suburb to a resort town in the Ozarks after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong – only to become entangled with a whole new breed of organized crime.

An even bigger week-to-week gain was posted by Amazon Prime Video’s “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” which broke into the top 10 with a 95% gain in Demand Expressions. The action series debuted at No. 7 in the week following its Aug. 31 launch.

Amazon had already announced a second season before the series even premiered.

Hulu’s “Castle Rock,” a horror series based on the writings of Stephen King, slipped to No. 4 from No. 3 the prior week, with demand essentially flat. Also down a notch is “Voltron: Legendary Defender” (Netflix), which took over the No. 5 spot from still another Netflix series, “Disenchantment.”

“Disenchantment,” created by “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” creator Matt Groening, suffered a drop in demand of more than 12% and finished the week at No. 9.

“Disenchantment” is Netflix’s sixth animated series targeting adults. The first, “Bojack Horseman,” returned to the top 10 the week ended Sept. 8 with a 72% gain in demand, with more than 19.3 million Demand Expressions – enough for a seventh-place finish.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Matt Groening’s ‘Disenchantment’ Bows at No. 5 on Digital Originals Chart

There were few changes in demand for the top digital originals this past week, with only one new release bowing in the top 10, according to Parrot Analytics data for the week ending Aug. 25.

The newcomer is “Disenchantment,” on Netflix, which the subscription streaming leader heavily promoted at Comic-Con International last month. “Disenchantment” debuted in the top 10 at No. 5; 20 episodes of the series have been ordered by Netflix; the first 10 episodes became available for viewing on Aug. 17.

The series, created by “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” creator Matt Groening, is Netflix’s sixth animated series targeting adults.

Audience expectations are high for “Disenchantment,” which is set in the medieval fantasy kingdom of Dreamland. The series follows Bean, a wild and heavily drinking princess, her innocent elf companion Elfo, and her “personal demon” Luci. Voice talent includes Abbi Jacobson, Eric Andre, Nat Faxon, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Matt Berry, David Herman, Maurice LaMarche, Lucy Montgomery and Billy West.

The Netflix women-in-prison drama “Orange is the New Black” remains the most in-demand digital original, despite 16% fewer Demand Expressions than in the previous week.

“Demand Expressions” is a proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

“Orange” has now been No. 1 for four consecutive weeks.

“Stranger Things” (Netflix) remains No. 2, “Voltron: Legendary Defender” (also Netflix) repeats at No. 3, and Hulu’s “Castle Rock” is again No. 4, with all three shows relatively flat in Demand Expressions.

Apple Music’s “Carpool Karaoke” remains No. 10 even though the streaming series (which is adapted for Apple Music subscribers) has been on hiatus since June.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Controversial ‘Insatiable’ Bows at No. 5 on Digital Originals Chart

Despite a 20% drop in demand, the Netflix women-in-prison drama “Orange Is the New Black” remains the most in-demand digital original, according to Parrot Analytics data for the week ended Aug. 18.

Three weeks after the debut of Season 6, the series continues its reign at No. 1 on Parrot’s weekly digital originals chart.

“Stranger Things,” also a Netflix digital original, also repeats at No. 2, with a 16% upswing in “Demand Expressions.

“Demand Expressions” is a proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

A new entry on the digital originals top 10 chart is Netflix’s “Insatiable,” which debuted at No. 5, with a 67% demand increase from the prior week. The new show, which launched on Netflix on Aug. 10, stars “Barney” and Disney Channel alum Debby Ryan as a high school student who has been bullied because of her weight. But after a fight with a homeless man leaves her with her jaw wired shut, she becomes thin – and a beauty pageant contender bent on revenge against those who mocked her.

Even before the series launched, there was controversy. After a trailer dropped in late July, critics accused the series of body-shaming and a Change.org petition demanding its cancelation gathered more than 200,000 signatures.

Netflix’s VP of original series, Cindy Holland, defended the show at the annual Television Critics Association (TCA) showcase, saying the underlying message is to feel comfortable in your own self.

Elsewhere on the chart, the perennially popular Netflix digital original series “Voltron: Legendary Defender” moved up to No. 3 from No. 7 the prior week, with a 51% spike in demand, while Hulu’s “Castle Rock” was bumped down a notch to No. 4, with demand essentially flat.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

‘Stranger Things’ Shoots Up Digital Originals Chart, But ‘Orange’ Still No. 1, Parrot Analytics Says

Two weeks after the launch of Season 6, “Orange Is the New Black” remains the most in-demand digital original in the United States, according to Parrot Analytics data for the week ended Aug. 11.

The women-in-prison drama series remains No. 1 on the digital originals chart, despite a 12.6% dip in demand from the previous week.

“Stranger Things,” like “Orange” a Netflix original, rose to No. 2 from No. 4 the prior week  with a 31.6% spike in demand, Parrot Analytics data shows. The increase in Demand Expressions is likely caused by executive producer Shawn Levy revealing that while the upcoming third season of the popular Netflix series will undoubtedly embrace its summer of 1985 setting, it will be both the darkest and most ambitious season of the series to date. The third season is slated to premiere in the summer 2019.

Parrot Analytics uses a proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Hulu’s “Castle Rock” slipped to No. 3 from No. 2, with a 16.5% drop in demand. The horror series is based on the writings of Stephen King.

“Star Trek: Discovery,” from CBS All Access rose to No. 4 on the digital originals chart from No. 8 the previous week, with a 23.7% gain in demand.

The show will soon make the transition from subscription streaming to transactional video.  An Aug. 5 panel on the show at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention included the announcement that the first season of the show will arrive on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Nov. 13 from Paramount Home Media Distribution and CBS Home Entertainment.

Rounding out the top five on the digital originals chart for the week ended Aug. 11 was Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” down from No. 3 the previous week. Demand is down 10.9% from the prior week.

A modest 1% rise in demand lifted “Marvel’s Daredevil” back into the top 10 (at No. 10). In a quarterly earnings call with investors, outgoing Netflix CFO David Wells confirmed the inaugural Marvel Netflix digital original will return later this year. Filming on Season 3 began in November 2017.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Demand Soars for ‘Orange Is the New Black’ and ‘Castle Rock,’ the Week’s Top Digital Originals, Parrot Analytics Says

One full week after the release of a new season, demand for “Orange is the New Black” rose 64% from the prior week, solidifying the women-in-prison drama’s hold on the top spot on the digital originals chart, according to Parrot Analytics data for the week ended Aug. 4.

The Netflix series shot to the No. 1 spot the prior week with the debut of Season 6, which gave “Orange” a 46% boost in Demand Expressions. “Orange” is the oldest show on the chart and also took over the top spot on the overall TV series chart, besting the prior week’s No. 1 show, “Spongebob Squarepants,” by nearly 13 million Demand Expressions.

Parrot Analytics uses a proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Hulu’s “Castle Rock,” the highly anticipated horror series based on the writings of Stephen King, shot up to No. 2 on the digital originals chart from No. 6 the prior week with a 40.5% spike in demand.

Another Hulu show, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” slipped to No. 3 on the digital originals chart from No. 2 the prior week, with an 8.1% drop in demand.

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” remained at No. 4, with demand essentially flat.

Rounding out the top 5 on the digital originals chart for the week ended Aug. 4 was “Queer Eye,” which slipped from No. 3 the prior week and a suffered a 16.3% decline in demand.

“Narcos” cracked the top 10 digital originals chart, at No. 7, with a 44.4% gain in demand, after Netflix announced a reset for Season 4. The first three seasons explored the cocaine war in Colombia in both the pre- and the post-Pablo Escobar world. The renamed “Narcos: Mexico” is set to premier globally later this year. Filming is taking place now in Mexico, and stars Michael Pena and Diego Luna have moved from Colombia to Mexico.

Also back in the top 10 on the digital originals chart is “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” up a notch at No. 10 from No. 11 the prior week, with a 10.7% spike in demand.

Rounding out the top ten is Marvel’s Luke Cage with 14.9 million Demand Expressions. The superhero series was previously ranked #11 last week.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating  platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Season 6 Launch Sends ‘Orange Is the New Black’ To No. 1 on Digital Originals Chart

With the launch of Season 6, Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” shot to the No. 1 spot on the digital originals chart for the week ended July 28, with a 46% spike in demand from the prior week, according to Parrot Analytics data.

The surge in Demand Expressions for the women-in-prison drama sent the previous week’s top digital original, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” to the No. 2 spot on the chart, with a 16% drop in demand the week after the season finale became available for viewing.

“Orange is the New Black,” created by Jenji Kohan, is also the eighth most popular show on Parrot Analytics’ overall TV shows chart.

Parrot Analytics uses a proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Diane Guerrero, who plays Maritza Ramos on “Orange is the New Black,” has just been tapped to join the live-action cast of “Doom Patrol” on DC’s upcoming subscription streaming service, playing the notoriously unstable “Crazy Jane.”

Elsewhere on the digital originals chart for the week ended July 28, “Queer Eye” slipped to No. 3 from No. 2 the prior week with a modest 8.3% drop in demand.

“Stranger Things” also slipped a notch, to No. 4, with demand down 10.7%. Netflix programming executive Cindy Holland on July 29 said on the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills that Season 3 of the sci-fi series has been delayed until the summer of 2019.

“13 Reasons Why” remains at No. 5, with demand relatively flat. Netflix recently announced that the controveral teen-suicide drama has been renewed for a third season, expected to launch in May 2019.

“Castle Rock,” the highly anticipated horror series from Hulu that made a big splash at Comic-Con, debuted at No. 6 on the digital originals chart. The show is based on the stories of Stephen King. “Castle Rock” debuted last week and saw Demand Expressions soar more than 140%.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

 

Hulu Boosts Comic-Con Presence with ‘Castle Rock’ Installation

Hulu, the No. 3 subscription streaming service, had an increased presence at San Diego Comic-Con this year, taking over city parkland across the street from the Convention Center to promote “Castle Rock,” a new digital original series based on the horror stories of Stephen King.

Castle Rock, of course, is the fictional town in Maine where some of King’s most notorious stories were set, including Cujo, Needful Things, The Dead Zone and The Dark Half.

And to promote the new J.J. Abrams-produced series, which will debut on July 25, Hulu set up an installation on city parkland across Harbor Drive from the San Diego Convention Center.

There was a car nose-first in a lake on the southwest corner of Children’s Park.

A short distance away, at the corner of Front Street and Island Avenue, was a Victorian building with a sign out front that identified it as the “Castle Rock Historic Bed and Breakfast.”

Milling about the front yard were a creepy couple, identically dressed, the woman sweeping a broom and the man greeting guests (convention attendees who waited in a long line to get in).

Walking through the building was like visiting an elaborate haunted house attraction for Halloween. The tour began as guests were ushered into the lobby, with a somber-looking desk clerk and an old manual typewriter with a single sheet of paper loaded into it, with the sentence “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” written repeatedly (straight out of the King classic The Shining).

The tour then turned into a mash-up of horror scenes: a bathtub filled with body parts, a prison death chamber, a room filled with bald, nude mannequins; another room in which guests felt as though they were underwater, looking up at a sunken car.

And throughout the tour, actors kept jumping out of the dark, yelling things like “Get out, now!” and “Help me.”

The disparate scenes are supposed to make sense once viewers watch the show.

Hulu also screened the first episode of the show just before a panel featuring the cast, which includes Sissy Spacek, the star of one of the most celebrated Stephen King movies, 1976’s Carrie, and Bill Skarsgard, who played Pennywise the clown in the theatrical It.

The episode finds Henry Deaver (Andre Holland), a death row attorney with a twisted history in Castle Rock, returning to his home town.  The impetus for his return: a stranger (Skarsgard) is found in a cage beneath Shawshank prison, and all he will say to corrections officers is Deaver’s name.

Spacek said she likes King because “he combines horror with humor.”

Co-creator Sam Shaw noted series producer J.J. Abrams, “our overlord,” is known for his “mystery box” approach to storytelling, while “Stephen King doesn’t write mystery box novels.”

“So that was an interesting challenge, figuring out how to balance the demands of two different types of stories. So we tried to chart a course that in some ways is driven by mysteries … and then also to answer some questions perhaps earlier than the audience expects.”

Hulu recreated the fictional town of Castle Rock for its new series, based on Stephen King stories.