‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 Premiere Is Most-Watched Hulu Original Ever

EXCLUSIVE: We hear from Hulu that the season 4 premiere episode of its 15x Emmy winning series, The Handmaid’s Tale, ranks as the streamer’s most watched original –for either a film or TV series season debut– during the course of a week.

Natch, the season 4 premiere of Handmaid’s Tale doubles as the series most viewed as well. The dystopian drama based on the Margaret Atwood bestselling novel also currently ranks as the No. 1 SVOD series overall on Hulu since launching last week on April 28. The Season 3 finale of Handmaid’s Tale dropped on Aug. 14, 2019 making it roughly a 21 month wait for season 4 of the MGM produced series.  

Last year, Hulu reported that its Sony/Tri-Star acquisition, the Kristen Stewart-Mackenzie Davis holiday romantic comedy Happiest Season, ranked as the streamer’s most watched film ever in a given weekend beating previous Hulu movies Run and Palm Springs.

Since most streamers, outside of Netflix, don’t report viewership figures, we’ve relied on third party service Samba TV which monitors streaming viewership on Smart, Connected TVs (not mobile or digital). While the stats aren’t a complete picture, they provide some kind of indication of how these shows are faring. Recently, Samba TV reported that the premiere of Amazon’s Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse starring Michael B. Jordan drew 2.3M U.S. household views for at least five minutes last weekend. Back in late March SambaTV reported that the first episode of Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier drew 1.7 million households in its first weekend (for at least five minutes), March 19-22. Disney+ reported that the first weekend of the Macolm Spellman created MCU series ranked as the streamer’s premiere ever in a given weekend.

SambaTV metrics for the first week of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4, episode 1 weren’t available at the time of this publication. We’ll update you as they become available, but the notion is that the Bruce Miller-created show outstripped Hulu’s first weekend (five minute) viewership of Golden Globe winner United States vs. Billie Holiday (287K U.S. households) and Happiest Season (416,6K U.S. households).

Samba TV’s methodology qualifies viewership as having watched at least five cumulative minutes of a broadcast and compares viewership to the US population average.

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