FlixPatrol is a site that measures popular TV shows and movies on major streaming services. Viewing numbers for Netflix, Hulu, and the like are generally opaque (and guarded by their owners); this leaves estimating viewership a bit difficult. FlixPatrol uses the top viewing/trending lists the services do release, and assigns a ranking point system to each TV show or movie. While it looks like it has a few oddities, it’s better than nothing. (For instance, “Black Adam” is ranked as both a Hulu film and an HBO Max film—unless it’s accounting for HBO Max as a subscription option within Hulu.)
Despite my recent grumbling over streaming services (or at least HBO Max) I still like using them for TV watching. Streaming services have also helped some animated productions get a second life, such as Disney’s “Encanto” after its very short theatrical run.
Below is a list of the top TV cartoons for 2022 on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, and Paramount+. Rankings on the overall list are in parentheses. I’m mostly looking at results from the United States, though will note global results of interest.
Amazon Prime Video
- Rick and Morty (#3)
- Teen Titans Go (#44)
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim shows are the only entries in the top 100, which is all the data available.
Outside of animation, the top movie on Prime Video is “Top Gun: Maverick,” while the top TV show is “Yellowstone,” both Paramount offerings.
- The Simpsons (#1)
- Bluey (#2)
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (#3)
- Spidey and His Amazing Friends (#4)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (#8)
Unsurprisingly, animation dominates Disney+’s most-watched material. “The Simpsons” is #1 for both animation and TV overall.
However, the second through fourth place entries (both in animation and overall) are interesting: “Bluey,” the popular Australian preschooler series (that also appeals to adults, thanks to its writing); “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” despite having been in reruns for years (it aired from 2006 to 2016); and “Spidey and His Amazing Friends,” featuring Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, and Miles Morales as grade-school-aged superheroes.
At #5 is another “oldie,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” “Clone Wars” originally aired from 2008 to 2014, but saw a Disney+ revival/final season in 2020.
Looking at the overall global results for Disney+ (which includes material that would be on Hulu here stateside, but is included in the Star category outside the US), “The Simpsons” is still #1, while “Bluey” (despite stiff competition) comes in at #4. (“Grey’s Anatomy” is at #2, while “Family Guy” is at #3.) I note Disney has international broadcast/streaming rights to “Bluey”; in Australia, the show airs on Australia’s ABC network/streaming service.
- South Park (#14)
- Rick and Morty (#29)
- Young Justice (#36)
- Harley Quinn (#38)
- Smiling Friends (#40)
The most popular TV shows on HBO Max are all aimed at adults. While most of them are either HBO Max originals or Adult Swim programs, the #1 animated show is “South Park,” from competitor Paramount. Yes, HBO Max’s most popular cartoon is something they don’t own… and will lose the rights to in 2025, when the show reverts to Paramount+.
Overall, the #1 TV show is “Euphoria”; “South Park” comes in at #14. I note eight of the top 10 TV shows are all from HBO-proper, not HBO Max. Which I suppose keeps with WB Discovery’s future plans for HBO Max to basically make it “HBO-the-cable-channel with reality shows added”… *sigh*.
Looking at the overall global results, “Rick and Morty” is HBO Max’s most popular cartoon (“South Park” airs on Paramount+ internationally), and comes in at #7. A few other Cartoon Network cartoons also do better globally than stateside; “We Baby Bears” comes in at #39, followed by “Craig of the Creek” (#65) and “Looney Tunes Cartoons” (#75). Meanwhile, the top three shows are “Game of Thrones,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “Friends.”
- Family Guy (#1)
- Bob’s Burgers (#7)
- American Dad (#29)
- Naruto Shippuden (#32)
- Attack on Titan (#48)
Hulu’s strengths in animation are present in this list: adult animation and anime. The top three animated shows are current/recent seasons of Fox (or former Fox) shows: “Family Guy,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “American Dad.” (Oddly, not recent seasons of “The Simpsons?”) In fourth and fifth places are two popular anime entries, “Naruto Shippuden” and “Attack on Titan.” Hulu’s anime library is pretty large.
“Family Guy” is also the #1 show overall on Hulu. Interestingly, in fifth place is an old-school soap opera, ABC’s “General Hospital.”
- Cocomelon (#6)
- The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib (#70)
- The Cuphead Show (#79)
- Human Resources (#101)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 series) (#116)
At #1 is the popular preschool series “Cocomelon.” It’s at #6 overall, in a sign of its popularity. At #2 is the “Boss Baby” animated series. I suppose this explains why Netflix stated they want their animated programming more in the vein of “Boss Baby” than the shows they axed in 2022. (*Sigh*.)
“The Cuphead Show” comes in at #3, while “Big Mouth” spin-off “Human Resources” is at #4. Oddly, “Big Mouth” itself isn’t anywhere on the list, despite Netflix’s apparent love of the show.
At #5 is the 2012 “Ninja Turtles” animated series, one of a handful of shows Netflix obtained from Nickelodeon.
Looking at the overall global results, animation isn’t as popular, as non-English live-action shows appear more frequently instead. The most popular cartoon is the anime “Spy x Family” (#95), followed by “Paw Patrol” (#103), “Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight” (#118), and “The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib” (#121).
- SpongeBob SquarePants (#2)
- Big Nate (#22)
- Beavis and Butt-Head (1992 series) (#23)
- Paw Patrol (#30)
- Beavis and Butt-Head (2022 series) (#38)
Nickelodeon proves it’s one of Paramount’s major assets, with Paramount’s flagship cartoon character SpongeBob coming in at the top of the animation list. Overall, he’s at #2, only beaten by “NCIS.” Apparently, people really like SpongeBob… and CBS shows, as their various procedurals make up five of the top 10. Only one “Star Trek” show, “Discovery,” cracked the top 10, at #6.
Fellow Nickelodeon shows “Big Nate” and “Paw Patrol” also make the top five. It’s interesting that “Big Nate” is that popular, though it’s no surprise for “Paw Patrol.” Over on the movie side, “Paw Patrol: The Movie” is at #1 overall, beating Paramount’s 2022 hits like “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” “The Lost City,” etc.
Also surprising in popularity is “Beavis and Butt-head.” The dimwitted duo’s original series and 2022 reboot both appear; the latter edges out fifth place over “Star Trek: Lower Decks.” And both the “Beavis” reboot and “Lower Decks” are beaten by “Fairly OddParents” spin-off “Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder,” which I don’t count since it’s live-action (plus an animated Cosmo and Wanda).
Globally, “South Park” is #1 both on the animation list and overall; at #2 and #3 are “Yellowstone” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” (Apparently, international Paramount+ subscribers really want to watch the show with the sarcastic talking cat.) Cartoon-wise, it’s followed by “SpongeBob” (#6), “Paw Patrol” (#7), “Hey Arnold!” (#28), and “Blaze and the Monster Machines” (#57). Interesting to see “Hey Arnold” and “Blaze” are popular internationally. (“Big Nate” and “Beavis and Butt-Head” are less so.)
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash