Hulu’s ‘Prey,’ ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Top Weekly Whip Media Streaming Charts

It was a big week for Hulu. The service’s “Only Murders in the Building” topped the Whip Media chart of streaming originals and its “Predator” franchise film Prey led the chart of streaming movies among U.S. consumers for the week ended Aug. 7.

“Only Murders in the Building,” season two of which began streaming in weekly episodes June 28, rose from the No. 2 spot to No. 1. In the season, following the shocking death of Arconia Board President Bunny Folger, Charles, Oliver and Mabel race to unmask her killer. However, three (unfortunate) complications ensue — the trio is publicly implicated in Bunny’s homicide, they are now the subjects of a competing podcast, and they have to deal with a bunch of New York neighbors who all think they committed murder.

Prey follows the Predator alien (from the long-running franchise) as it wreaks havoc in the Comanche nation of 300 years ago. It started streaming on Hulu Aug. 5.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 21 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

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Debuting at No. 2 on the streaming originals chart was Netflix’s “The Sandman,” which started streaming Aug. 5. Based on the Neil Gaiman DC comic book of the same name, the series tells the story of Morpheus/Dream. Upon escaping after decades of imprisonment by a mortal wizard, Dream, the personification of dreams, sets out to recover his lost equipment.

Remaining at No. 3 on the streaming originals chart was “Big Brother,” season 24 of which started streaming on Paramount+ July 6. In the reality series, people live together in a house outfitted with cameras and microphones recording their every move.

Debuting in the No. 2 spot on the streaming movies chart was Disney’s theatrical release Lightyear, which started streaming on Disney+ Aug. 3. (It’s also available for digital purchase through transactional retailers.) In the animated film based on the Toy Story character, while spending years trying to return home, marooned space ranger Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans) encounters an army of ruthless robots.

Landing at No. 3 on the streaming movies chart was Sony Pictures’ box office hit Uncharted, which started streaming on Netflix Aug. 5 under a preexisting deal between the studio and the streamer. The action adventure follows street-smart thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), who is recruited by seasoned treasure hunger Victor “Sully” Sullivan (March Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago.

 

Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended Aug. 7:

  1. “Only Murders in the Building” — Hulu
  2. “The Sandman” — Netflix (Series Premiere)
  3. “Big Brother” (U.S.) — Paramount+
  4. “Virgin River” — Netflix
  5. “The Orville” — Hulu
  6. “Harley Quinn” — HBO Max
  7. “Love Island” U.S. — Peacock
  8. “Uncoupled” — Netflix
  9. “Stranger Things” — Netflix
  10. “American Horror Stories” — Hulu

 

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers Aug. 5-7:

  1. Prey — Hulu
  2. Lightyear — Disney+
  3. Uncharted — Netflix
  4. Purple Hearts — Netflix
  5. The Gray Man — Netflix
  6. Luck — Apple TV+
  7. Wedding Season — Netflix
  8. They/Them — Peacock
  9. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — Disney+
  10. Not Okay — Hulu

HBO Max Announces Completion of New User Feature Rollout

HBO Max announced it has completed the roll out of a new user experience on desktop, iOS and Android mobile devices, and Amazon Fire tablets, where available globally.

The new app delivers “highly requested new features from HBO Max fans and marks the conclusion of moving all HBO Max apps to a new, more performant tech stack, a process that started with replacing connected TV applications in September,” according to HBO Max.

New features available in the updated HBO Max mobile and desktop application include:

  • shuffle button functionality expansion to mobile devices, a feature — previously only available on the desktop and CTV experiences — that gives users the ability to randomize the first episode that plays for select series on the platform;
  • SharePlay support for iPhone and iPad users (U.S. only), whereby subscribers in the United States with an ad-free plan and an iPhone or iPad can now use SharePlay to watch HBO Max programs in sync with friends and family while on a FaceTime call;
  • a dedicated home for downloaded content with improved performance and stability;
  • tablet support for both landscape and portrait orientations;
  • an enhanced screen reader experience with improved navigation elements and functionality;
  • the ability to split screens with other apps on any behavior-supported mobile device;
  • updated, intuitive navigation;
  • new design and visual styling; and
  • Chromecast stability improvements.

“We are delighted to introduce the revamped HBO Max mobile and desktop apps,” said Kamyar Keshmiri, SVP or product design, Warner Bros. Discovery Streaming, in a statement. “The changes give our users more of the features they care most about, along with improved navigation and a more immersive canvas for storytelling, helping them click play on their favorite content faster and with less friction.”

Warner Bros. Discovery to Combine Discovery+, HBO Max Streaming Services in 2023

Warner Bros. Discovery Aug. 4 officially said it plans to combine the Discovery+ and HBO Max subscription streaming platforms into a single service in the summer of 2023. The announcement by JB Perrette, CEO of global streaming and interactive, on the fiscal call did not provide details about the combined service’s name or price points.

“The combination of HBO Max and Discovery+ could not come at a better time, and both are enjoying strong momentum,” Perrette said. “We’ll have more to share close to the launch on the product side.”

Ever since Discovery announced plans to acquire operational control of WarnerMedia from AT&T for $43 billion, creating Warner Bros. Discovery, speculation has circulated how the new media company would combine the upstart Discovery+ streaming service with the established HBO and HBO Max platforms.

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Perrette said Discovery+ and HBO Max have their separate strengths and weaknesses. He said Max has a competitive movie and TV show slate, but has had performance and customer issues ever since launching. Discovery+ has had strong consumer appeal but with a more limited content offering.

“Our combined service will focus on delivering the best of both market-leading features with world-class performance,” he said.

Perrette said the primary focus for the combined rollout would be in markets where Max has already launched, given its broader international footprint. The new service would bow sequentially, starting in the United States, followed by Latin America. European markets with Max would follow in early 2024, with additional launches in Asia Pacific territories and Europe that year as well.

Perrette said the combined service is targeting 130 million global subscribers by 2025, with a plan to financially break even by 2024, including generating $1 billion in pre-tax income by 2025.

Warner Bros. Discovery ended the second quarter (ended June 30) with 92.1 million combined Discovery+, HBO and HBO Max subscribers.

CNN Original Content Available on Discovery+ Aug. 19

CNN and Warner Bros. Discovery have announced the launch of a dedicated CNN Originals hub on Discovery+ domestically.

Beginning August 19, Discovery+ subscribers will be able to access a curated selection of library CNN content through a new hub featuring premium programming from the network’s brands: CNN Original Series, CNN Films, and HLN Original Series.
 
“We’re thrilled to expand the reach of CNN and HLN’s powerful nonfiction programming to subscribers of discovery+,” said Chris Licht, chairman and CEO of CNN, in a statement. “Our original series have an unrivaled ability to introduce and immerse audiences in stories of the people, places and cultures that make this world so fantastic and, at times, frightening. By offering our programming through discovery+, more people can explore and experience CNN’s premium content.”
 
“True crime, food and travel programming are among the most-watched genres for discovery+ viewers, so these titles from CNN will fit right in with our best-in-class collection of unscripted content,” said J.B. Perrette, president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery Streaming, in a statement. “We’re excited to offer our subscribers access to a comprehensive offering of CNN Original Series available to stream with their existing subscription.”
 
Subscribers will have access to more than 800 episodes of current and legacy programming from the CNN Original Series and HLN Original Series library. Among the CNN Original Series titles available at launch are the 13-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”; Primetime Emmy Award-winning “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy”; “The History of the Sitcom”; the five-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell”; “The History of Comedy,” executive produced by Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner and Mark Herzog; and “This is Life With Lisa Ling.” HLN Original Series titles including “How It Really Happened,” “Death Row Stories,” “The Hunt With John Walsh” and “Very Scary People” will also be available. Select titles from the CNN Films library will stream exclusively on Discovery+. Additional programming from CNN Films and CNN Original Series is available on HBO Max. The CNN Original “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” will also debut on HBO Max this fall. 

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“As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of CNN Original Series, this new collaboration allows us to share these smart and entertaining projects with a new and already engaged audience,” said Amy Entelis, EVP, talent and content development, CNN worldwide, in a statement. “We know subscribers will enjoy exploring over 800 episodes of award-winning programming from CNN and HLN Original Series and CNN Films.”
 
In addition to this initial offering of CNN Originals available to stream, select CNN Original Series and HLN Original Series will be added to the CNN Originals Hub and stream on Discovery+ in the future following their linear run on the cable networks. Titles will be announced in the months to come.
 
Beginning Aug. 19, Discovery+ subscribers can access the CNN Originals Hub within the Discovery+ app or on the web at discoveryplus.com.  

‘Cars on the Road’ Debuting on Disney+ Sept. 8

In celebration of Disney+ Day, Disney and Pixar’s original series “Cars on the Road” will debut exclusively on the streaming service Sept. 8.

The Disney+ Original series follows Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and his best friend Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) as they head east from Radiator Springs on a cross-country road trip to meet up with Mater’s sister.

“The series is a romp across the country with Lightning McQueen and Mater,” said director Steve Purcell in a statement. “Like any real road trip, every day is a new mini-adventure with unexpected twists and turns.”

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Disney+ Day will return on Sept. 8, leading into D23 “Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event presented by Visa” in Anaheim, Calif. In celebration, the streaming service will host special experiences for fans, and will premiere new content from its brands — Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

HBO Max, Hulu to Share Exclusive Streaming Rights to Sitcom ‘Abbott Elementary’

HBO Max and Hulu will share exclusive streaming rights to complete seasons of the Emmy Award–nominated comedy series “Abbott Elementary.”

Created by and starring Quinta Brunson from Warner Bros. Television and 20th Television, the full 13-episode first season will debut Aug. 20 on HBO Max; it’s streaming now on Hulu. 

Season two of the series debuts Sept. 21 on ABC. As part of an existing agreement with ABC, Hulu will continue to make current season episodes available the day after each broadcast premiere. These new episodes plus prior seasons will remain on Hulu and complete future seasons will be available to stream on HBO Max before the next season premieres on ABC. 
 
“Abbott Elementary” was recently nominated for seven Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series, lead acting and writing nominations for Quinta Brunson, supporting acting nominations for Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, and Sheryl Lee Ralph, and for casting. 
 
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The workplace comedy follows a group of dedicated, passionate teachers — and a slightly tone-deaf principal — who are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though they may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do — even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children. 
 
Brunson stars as Janine Teagues in the series, and she serves as executive producer of the series alongside Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker of Delicious Non-Sequitur Productions, and Randall Einhorn. In addition to Brunson, the cast includes Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie, Janelle James as Ava Coleman, Lisa Ann Walter as Melissa Schemmenti, Chris Perfetti as Jacob Hill, William Stanford Davis as Mr. Johnson, and Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios. 

HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’ Top New Show, Netflix’s ‘Locke & Key’ Top Returning Show Anticipated in August

HBO’s “House of the Dragon” was the top anticipated new show, Netflix’s “Locke & Key” was the most anticipated returning show, and Bullet Train was the top anticipated movie on the Whip Media charts for August.

“House of the Dragon,” which in addition to airing on HBO starts streaming Aug. 21 on HBO Max, is the much-anticipated prequel to “Game of Thrones,” set 200 years before that hit series and chronicling the saga of the House of Targaryen.

“Locke & Key,” season three of which debuts on Netflix Aug. 10, is a fantasy horror drama based on the comic book series of the same name. It follows a family that takes residence in the family home, Keyhouse, after the father is murdered.

Sony Pictures’ Bullet Train is an action comedy starring Joey King, Brad Pitt, Karen Fukuhara and Sandra Bullock. The film, which debuts Aug. 5, follows a trained killer (Pitt) who wants to give up the life but is pulled back in by his handler (Bullock) to acquire a briefcase on a bullet train.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 21 million global users, according to the company. TV Time’s “Anticipation Report” is based on data from those users.

 

Most Anticipated New Shows for August:

  1. “House of the Dragon” (HBO) — Aug. 21
  2. “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” (Disney+) — Aug. 17
  3. “Andor” (Disney+) — Aug. 31
  4. “The Sandman” (Netflix) — Aug. 5
  5. “I Am Groot” (Disney+) — Aug. 10

 

Most Anticipated Returning Shows for August:

  1. “Locke & Key” (Netflix) — Aug. 10
  2. “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix) — Aug. 12
  3. “Reservation Dogs” (Hulu) — Aug. 3
  4. “See” (Apple TV+) — Aug. 26
  5. “Kevin Can F**k Himself” (AMC+) — Aug. 22

 

Most Anticipated Movies for August:

  1. Bullet Train — Aug. 5
  2. Day Shift — Aug. 12
  3. Prey — Aug. 5
  4. Bodies Bodies Bodies — Aug. 5
  5. Luck — Aug. 5
  6. Look Both Ways — Aug. 17
  7. Beast — Aug. 19
  8. Orphan: First Kill — Aug. 19
  9. Secret Headquarters — Aug. 12
  10. They/Them — Aug. 5

Paramount+ Renews Original Series ‘iCarly’ for Third Season

Paramount+ has renewed original series”iCarly” reboot for a third season.

The 10-episode second season completed its run earlier this spring with a cliffhanger. Season three will go into production later this year and will premiere in 2023 exclusively on Paramount+ around the world.

“iCarly’s loyal fan base grew up with Carly, Spencer and Freddie, and have now fallen in love with Harper and Millicent, too,” said Tanya Giles, chief programming officer of streaming for Paramount+, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have Miranda, Jerry, Nathan, Laci and Jaidyn return for a third season and we know Paramount+’s growing YA audience is as well. And I, for one, must find out what happens with #Creddie.”

Seasons one and two of the new “iCarly” are available to stream exclusively on Paramount+. All seasons of the original are also available on the streaming platform.

“iCarly” stars Miranda Cosgrove as Carly, Jerry Trainor as Spencer, Nathan Kress as Freddie, Laci Mosley as Harper and Jaidyn Triplett as Millicent. “iCarly” for Paramount+ is produced by Nickelodeon Studios.

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Nickelodeon’s original “iCarly” series, which ran from 2007-2012, followed a group of best friends as they created a webcast for and about kids their age while grappling with everyday problems and adventures.

HBO Orders Limited Series ‘The Palace’ Starring Kate Winslet

HBO has given a series order to the limited series “The Palace.” The series will be directed and executive produced by Stephen Frears and showrun, written by, and executive produced by Will Tracy. Kate Winslet will star and executive produce. 
 
“The Palace” tells the story of one year within the walls of the palace of an authoritarian regime as it begins to unravel.
 
“We are honored to be working with this incredibly talented group of filmmakers on ‘The Palace,'” said Francesca Orsi, EVP, HBO Programming, in a statement. “The notion that Kate Winslet and Stephen Frears, two of our industry’s leading lights (who — remarkably — have never collaborated before now), are joining forces to bring Will Tracy’s wildly original, prescient, and dazzling scripts to life at HBO is a dream come true for us.” 

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Academy Award winner Winslet is about to start filming Lee, the true-life story of famed photographer Lee Miller, in which she stars and is producing. Additionally, HBO recently announced that it’s developing the limited series “Trust,” based on Hernan Diaz’s novel, with Winslet set to star and executive produce. She previously executive produced and starred in HBO’s limited series “Mare of Easttown,” for which she won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie at the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 2021.

‘The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family’ Among Titles on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in August

Frontline’s Ukraine: Life Under Russia’s Attack and the documentary miniseries The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family are among the titles available on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel this August.
 
The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Ukraine: Life Under Russia’s Attack, debuting Aug. 2, is a dramatic and intimate look inside the Russian assault on Kharkiv told by displaced families trying to survive underground, civilians caught in the fight, and first responders risking their lives amid the shelling of Ukraine’s second largest city.

The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family, debuting Aug. 28, covers the scandalous rise and fall of the Boleyn family in a three-part documentary series filled with love, betrayal and obsession. Told from the unique perspective of the family itself, the series juxtaposes narration from historical academics with actors performing significant scenes.

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Other titles coming to the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in August include Eugene O’Neill: A Film by Ric Burns (“American Experience”) on Aug. 9; Afghanistan Undercover (“Frontline”) on Aug. 9; Roberto Clemente (“American Experience”) on Aug. 18; and Rise of the Bolsonaros on Aug. 30.