In January 2019, the top five in-demand superhero TV shows were all DC properties. This is truly a Golden Age for comic book readers, with many of their most beloved franchises adapted for both the big and the small screen. But with all the different series, it's often difficult to work out what's really the most popular superhero show. Traditional networks go by viewing figures, but streaming services refuse to publish those, meaning it's not easy to do like-for-like comparisons.
January was a very competitive month for the superhero genre, with a number of DCTV series returning after their mid-season breaks, the release of The Punisher season 2 on Netflix, and recent releases of other Marvel shows like Hulu's Runaways. The last of these is really aimed at a specific young-adult audience, meaning demand probably isn't going to be as high as with the other shows; but the rest are all directly competing with one another. The old comic book rivalry - Marvel versus DC - is playing out on the small screen.
Given the difficulty doing like-for-like comparisons, that's where third-party analytics companies like Parrot Analytics, who measure online demand for the different shows, come in. They've spoken exclusively to Screen Rant to reveal which superhero TV series were most in-demand in the United States through January 2019. Here are the top 10:
Parrot's information really does testify to the strength of the DCTV brand. The top five shows are all DC, while every single one of the Arrowverse shows is in the top 10. Meanwhile, it's clear that the DC Universe streaming service is extremely competitive; both Titans and Young Justice are in the top five, beating their rival Marvel Netflix shows. It looks as though the Teen Titans brand is one of DC's strongest on the small screen; the 2003 Teen Titans series still counted among the top 10, and the dark and gritty relaunch high up on the list despite no new episodes yet in 2019 (although it did release internationally on Netflix in January).
It's surprising to see demand for Gotham outstripping that of Arrow and Supergirl, but it may be that interest in the final season is particularly high. The Batman prequel series has been building up to the moment when the young Bruce Wayne finally assumes the Batman identity, and the closer that gets, the more interest there seems to be.
Marvel Television will be disappointed to see that The Punisher, which released in the middle of the month, didn't get higher up the list. There are probably two reasons for this; the first is the sheer amount of competition The Punisher was dealing with, and the second is the slow breakdown in the partnership between Marvel and Netflix, which has probably lessened interest given even the cast don't expect the series to be renewed. Marvel's flagship program, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., isn't due to return until the summer either; this data possibly suggests that DC will continue to dominate for the next few months.