‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Debuts On Nielsen Streaming Top 10

Star Trek: Discovery has arrived for the first time on Nielsen’s top streaming chart. It is the third Paramount+ Star Trek show to make the list.

Top 10 Disco

The Nielsen Top 10 original streaming program chart for the week of April 8- 14 in the USA was just released, which covers the first full week following the 2-episode season 5 debut of Discovery on April 4th (with “Red Directive” and “Under the Twin Moons”). Discovery ranked at number 10 on the original programs Top 10 with 257 million minutes viewed. It’s the only Paramount+ show to make the chart that week, with most of the chart featuring shows from Netflix, with the top spot going to Amazon Prime’s Fallout (starring Star Trek: Prodigy’s Ella Purnell).

Nielsen just started tracking Paramount+ shows in 2023 so we don’t know how season 5 is doing relative to previous seasons. Last year the second season of Strange New Worlds and the third season of Picard both appeared several times on the chart. With the lowest market share of the tracked subscription streaming services, Paramount+ only has had a handful of original shows make their way into the Top 10, including Halo and some of the Taylor Sheridan-produced shows including 1923, and Special Ops: Lioness, starring Zoe Saldaña (which was just renewed yesterday for a second season).

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham and Callum Keith Rennie as Rayner in “Under the Twin Moons” (Marni Grossman /Paramount+)

Bonus video – making “Under the Twin Moons”

Here is a behind-the-scenes package about the location shooting for episode 502.

The fifth and final season of Discovery debuted with two episodes on Thursday, April 4 exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the UK, Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, and Austria. Discovery also premiered on April 4 on Paramount+ in Canada and will be broadcast on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada. The rest of the 10-episode final season will be available to stream weekly on Thursdays. Season 5 debuted on SkyShowtime in select European countries on April 5.

Find more stories on the Star Trek Universe.

Notify me of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Discovery’s not so terrible after all, I see.

Glad to see so many people checking out Discovery. They can make up their own minds from there. It will be interesting to see if Disco gets a few more episodes in that top ten.

I’m actually surprised by this but certainly good news. I’m enjoying the season for the most part but still feels like people have moved on or no real passion for it. It’s very odd but at least it’s being watched and does feel like more are enjoying the season as a whole. It’s become a season of the 24th century greatest hits so it’s more fun for me lol.

DSC will likely find new viewers after it’s complete.
Other than Trek, I wait for seasons to be complete before I watch them.
I think that it might be the best way to watch a serialized show like DSC.

final season bump….god i hope this doesn’t “embiggen” Kurtz and Co. as a sign that we really like DSC and to have Tilly be the lead in Starfleet Academy.

The irony for me is I thought this would get huge views in the beginning because it was the final season and people were raving about the first episodes. I honestly thought we would have another Picard season 3 situation. But it feels like the total opposite for what is a generally decent season so fa and no one is really talking about it.

And I’m not a Discovery gusher, far from it lol. I think the show has been mostly awful but I don’t pretend my opinion is a consensus either. I am mostly enjoying this season though even with some of the same issues I always had with it.

I don’t know what you mean that no one is talking about it. I see plenty of positive comments here and on other sites as well. Much more than in previous seasons. Which is great news. I have really enjoyed this season. The writing has been solid. The acting has been wonderful. I love the addition of Callum Keith Rennie to the cast. I am hoping that this leads to him being in Starfleet Academy series. I think the role of a tough Academy professor would be a great way to go.

I am happy that Discovery recovered from a difficult start. Fuller’s ideas were good on paper but did not translate well onto the screen. A big misstep with the look of the Klingons really hot the series hard. I am certain that if the Klingons were not changed from what we know, people would have been less hard with the show. But that is just my opinion. But there is a lot of negativity anyway, here and on other websites.

I have really enjoyed the show. Love having it set so far in the future to try something new. At least they tried different things. Some worked, but some didn’t. That is the fun of TV.

I just mean compared to the past seasons it’s very low discussions. The last episode got under 30 posts and the show is done after 3 more episodes That’s probably the lowest I ever seen it for a review thread.

Oh yeah the show did a lot of Head scratching things in the beginning. Some I just have no idea why lol

I’ve noticed more positive comments this season than negative ones. Perhaps it’s the people that don’t like the show have finally stopped commenting. But I do notice that there have been fewers posts than normal in all the stories regardless if they are about Disco or not. I’ve noticed that on the other Trek websites as well. But I did notice that many of the posters that were constant on here in terms of their hate for the show haven’t been posting for quite a while. Especially the vocal ones who tend to repeat themselves throughout an article. Emily and Lorna seem to have disappeared and so has the guy that always complained about lower decks. When you remove all the repeated posts from just those 3, it does remove a lot of posts. Could be a coincidence but it’s something I’ve noticed.
But overall, it’s been a very solid season with the writing, the pacing and the acting. I’m said to see the show going as it’s finally hitting it’s stride.

I’m just saying there were tons of people who loved Picard season 3 and both seasons of SNW too. And those got hundreds of posts in every thread and they were mostly POSITIVE posts. I don’t think less negative posts is why this place has dried up as much as it has.

It’s not a big deal and I’m not trying to slant this negatively since I never brought it once in all the prior seasons until now because until now there was always a lot more discussion about the show. But it is what it is.

“Emily and Lorna seem to have disappeared and so has the guy that always complained about lower decks”

Actually Lorna still posts here regularly. They been reviewing every episode. I guess Emily can only shout “YOU ONLY WANT LEGACY CHARACTERS” so many times before she’s now bored of it. And that other guy finally got banned (for the second or third time depending on who you ask ;)) for just being his toxic self. But you’re probably right with him gone, the infighting, trolling and spamming has fallen by 80% here alone lol.

I went back to previous season’s posts, and it is incredible the amount of infighting and trolling there were in the comments. There seems to be about the same amount of positive comments as there are now. But you are right, about a good 75% are infighting, tangent posts and repeated spamming. I noticed that too on Reddit and a couple other Trek sites. But the number of positive posts seems to be consistent over the years. Not that I have done a scientific analysis of every single episode post. lol

I mean, they’ve got their scripts and the show starts filming in the next few months. We can’t say with absolute certainty that Tilly is the lead, but how this season of DSC is received won’t change it.

Of these, “Shogun” is still the one I really want to see.

Very encouraging news.

This is an important metric to have confirmed, and it makes sense that the show has had strong ratings considering the rash of new series it helped spawn and the lengths Paramount Global was willing to go to to claw back international rights. It’s just caught up in the reality of streaming – by year four an original streaming show is old news and more likely to be replaced than renewed.

I find Discovery to be remarkably mediocre but I’m still happy to see it succeed and I wouldn’t dream of talking anyone out of enjoying it who is.

Fair play. I had thought that most of the established audience had walked a view supported by how few comments it seems to be getting on sites such as this one. Looks like I was wrong. Well done Discovery and if people are enjoying it and want to see more Trek then great. Imagine the numbers though had it stayed on Netflix…….

These are USA-only figures, and Discovery was never on Netflix there.

Thanks for clarifying.

Real numbers will be reflected in merchandizing. TOS and TNG were successful in this realm. Kevin timeline and Kurtzman Trek, I think it’s nonexistent.

In fairness, that’s not just a Star Trek thing. It seems like shows don’t get merch anymore, unless it’s a smash mega-hit, as with Stranger Things.

The Mandalorian has a ton of merch.

One caveat… While they’re on the chart, the metric Nielsen is using for the chart (minutes viewed) shows Discovery performing below the numbers for Strange New Worlds season 2 and Picard season 3. And, technically, they have more episodes to achieve a higher (possible) number than the other 2 shows, if it was in theory drawing in new viewers willing to give the entire series a chance and binge it.

But that’s fine. Engagement is engagement, it has a Paramount+ show, even with its competitive handicap, in the top 10.

It shows how Star Trek has fallen from the cultural zeitgeist though. I mean, everyone is talking about Fallout and the numbers dwarf anything Paramount + can achieve.

In other words, in principle no different from when DS9 and Voyager were not getting talked about as much as The X-Files or The Phantom Menace.

Star Trek is a niche. TOS, TNG and the JJ films crossed over to some mainstream success and every series since TNG has flirted with it on occasion. But Star Trek is not Game of Thrones or Stranger Things or Star Wars. It’s popular in its own lane and Paramount has found ways to make lots of money from it, which keeps it going strong for us. This has always been the case, so there’s no point in trying to spin this into more naysaying. It achieves nothing we haven’t already known (and not cared about) for decades.

DS9 and VOY did fine in the TV ratings.

My point is, none of the new Star Trek shows can be breakout hits locked behind Paramount +

Now, if Disney or Amazon or Netflix had the rights, it’d be a bigger success than it has already shown itself to be.

Voyager is surprisingly popular on Netflix still.

DS9 barely clawed its way back to #1 syndicated drama in 1999 after a couple years of playing second fiddle to Xena and Hercules in a rapidly shrinking and less relevant first run syndicated market. It was under-publicized and no publications outside of sci-fi mags and TV Guide gave it the time of day after the 30th anniversary.

Voyager was on the struggling #5 network, usually 5th in its timeslot, even falling below WWF Smackdown! as the top rated show on UPN. If it weren’t for 7 of 9 it too would have been totally ignored, and even then you could hardly accuse it of commanding a huge chunk of the zeitgeist outside of hardcore Trek fandom.

And that was enough for us, and we still got TNG movies and Enterprise greenlit at that level of niche success. Trek viewer demos were desirable, and erosion was evident but not as bad due to loyalty. The Trek shows were the bigger fish in rather small ponds. I’m under zero illusion that they’d have lasted as long as they did if broadcast on a big four network with higher performance benchmarks.

I see very little difference between that situation and where things stand today, except that now viewership is highly fragmented with so many streaming services and people being able to easily choose when and how they watch thousands of shows and movies. Star Trek shows are consistently breaking through that and on a smaller streaming outlet where they have more value to their owner. If you want to point to what Trek would look like if it breaks out even bigger and is scrutinized and popularized, just look to the JJ films and the debate that still rages about how faithful they are to what makes for good Star Trek.

Netflix’s model is to binge-consume and move on, and shows get buried there and the conversation tends to die down fast. They also don’t usually last more than 4 seasons, so again, being a bigger fish in a smaller pond is better for Trek. There’s no guarantee a Netflix deal would mean season 6 of Disco and Lower Decks (based on their history, season 5 would have been highly unlikely) or Star Trek: Legacy being greenlit. We’ve had two 5 season runs of new shows, 6 series and a tv-movie greenlit, reliable press coverage from Internet outlets including magazines that wouldn’t have given DS9 this much attention 30 years ago. I don’t know what definition of “breakout hit” will satisfy you, but I really don’t think it’s necessary to achieve.

Star Trek is in the top ten series in a streaming space of infinite content. To the degree that anything is in the cultural zeitgeist, Star Trek is still in the conversation.

To be fair, it’s lucky to sneak in. Star Trek Picard squeaked into the top ten with 400 million minutes vs DISCO at 257 million minutes.

So, not exactly a smash hit performance.

Considering the sheer volume of streaming content produced, this a big deal.

I don’t know if any pre-streaming Trek TV series were ever in Neilsen’s top ten.

And the whole “but Marvel/Star Wars/Harry Potter/whatever else is more popular than Trek” has always been the case, and I suspect it always will be.

Even in the Berman days, Trek did well – but it was never insanely popular with general audiences. I don’t think it needs to be.


TNG and DS9 were often top 10 shows in the syndicated charts. It would take a bit of a deep dive to see how that would correlate against the ratings for the network shows, it’s not exactly apples to apples.

But just based on number of viewers, “All Good Things…,” TNG’s highest rated episode by a long shot, would have ranked #2 the week it aired, behind Roseanne. “Emissary,” the highest rated episode of Star Trek (and I believe any drama) in syndication history would have been #5 the week it aired. These are major outliers.

“Caretaker” was Voyager’s highest rated episode – it managed to rank 22nd in the charts that week. “Parallax” was 45th.

Star Trek rules a comfortable niche. One that can be harnessed for some well-viewed premieres and finales and stunts now and again, and #1 box office debuts, but it’s not popular on the same level as many other über franchises – the public has affection for it, but it’s never going to be Marvel. And that’s as okay now as it’s always been. It’s always going to be better to be king of a smaller castle than vying for attention at a bigger one.

I don’t have anything to add, but I want to echo y’all’s sentiments 100%.

Let’s be honest here: You’re cherry-picking Picard’s best result. During a different week, PIC made it into the Nielsen Top 10 with 276 million minutes viewed, which isn’t so far off what DSC made.

Very interesting and surprising to me since Discovery is not MUST SEE TV for me – but it perhaps shows that the show has developed its own audience outside of the legacy fans who read this website and who are older and long-time fans of the franchise.

Maybe it doesn’t have quite the numbers of Picard or SNW which are popular with the grey beards like me, but that is not the audience the show is targeting.

I for one hope the franchise continues for another 60 years and long after my departure from this planet. The only way that happens is for the show to reach out to a younger more diverse audience and that is exactly what Discovery did, especially in the last 3 seasons. Kudos to Kurtzman and the cast and crew of Discovery.

So…? When’s the campaign starting?

What campaign are you talking about?

Save Enterprise.

This is the first season of Discovery, and I have looked forward to each episode. I’ve watched all of the season, as I will watch anything Trek (even the awful “Lower Decks” show), but I never rushed to watch an episode when it dropped. Season 2 for a few episodes – but the AI storyline was brutal, followed by “The Burn” story in season three, which was almost unwatchable.

I’m glad the show has found its footing, but it’s too bad it took seven years (and five-mini season) for it to happen.

I must admit to being a bit shocked by this. I think there is a genuine desire out there for Trek content.

Sadly, I’m feeling the exact opposite. I feel the franchise has been mishandled to the point where barely anyone, collectively, cares anymore. I feel like Trek is neither in demand or relevant these days. It used to be special in the cultural zeitgeist, and it’s just not anymore. And again, I say that with a distinct feeling of sadness. My opinion, of course. Old Trek, still popular. New Trek, overall lack of depth and quality. There are exceptions, but just not what it used to be.

Even though I am enjoying it this season more I actually agree with you. It’s just weird. People are watching it obviously but it doesn’t feel like anyone really cares either. I thought no one was really watching it this season with so little talk about it. Now I think people are watching but mostly because there has just been a serious lack of Star Trek on more than any real excitement for the season itself.

Just kind of going through the motions so to speak.

And I think only hardcore fans like us are really watching at this point.

I’m seeing a lot of moving goal posts as to what constitutes success here.

What do you mean? It seems to be a success in terms of people liking it. I even like it lol. And I said I was wrong about how many were watching it. I thought it was less as well. But just stating the obvious no one is really talking about it either. Only have to look at how many people were talking about Picard and SNW last year to see the difference, especially here.

I been saying this since the first episode it just doesn’t feel to be any real passion about it one way or the other. It just feels like people are watching it because it’s a new season but very little beyond that.

But fewer people are shouting the season sucks compared to previous seasons by this point and more seems to be enjoying it so that’s definitely a success lol.

It’s not really you, it’s just the generalizations about Trek not being in demand or relevant in response to a post interpreting good ratings as saying the exact opposite. Before this data there was speculation Discovery would prove to not be popular when scrutinized with these new metrics. Ratings come out and it performs well, so now it’s a shift to saying Trek just doesn’t feel relevant anymore because message board chatter is reduced. That’s what I mean when I say it feel like goal posts for success are getting moved. It’s like trying to justify a negative narrative without allowing for some facts that cloud the picture.

Trek has always been a niche, but a big one. That’s even more valuable now with paywalls and fragmented audiences, and it’s resonating in perhaps a less overt way than decades ago when straight ratings and box office were the only metrics, but I’m happy to take the win here – it’s been an admirable success for Paramount on TV since 2017.

For me, this has been the weakest season of Discovery so far. It feels like a complete mess. I’ve never loved the series but until this point it at leas felt it improved with every season.

It does seem to be unfocused. It started good, but then became filler. The season seems more suited to being limited to a 3- or 4-episode miniseries.