The sixth and final season of Netflix’s House of Cards, the show that started it all, have thus far been its least watched, according to Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings released Monday.
Netflix dropped the eight-episode final season on Monday, Nov. 2. It’s the only season that aired without original series star Kevin Spacey, who was fired after facing serious accusations of sexual misconduct. Spacey played Frank Underwood, a highly ambitious congressman to whom ethics meant little. With Spacey off the show, season six revolves around what happens when his equally ambitious wife, Claire (Robin Wright), ascends to the presidency. The season features Greg Kinnear and Diane Lane as guest stars.
According to Nielsen, the first episode of season six of the show saw an average minute audience of nearly 3 million viewers within the first seven days of its release. That was down from the first week of season five’s first episode, which scored an average minute audience of 4.4 million viewers.
Within its first week, the eight episodes of season six had an average minute audience of 1.5 million viewers, compared to an average minute audience of 1.9 million viewers for season five’s 13 episodes.
Season six’s audience also skewed more female, at 54 percent, than male, which might be expected considering the change of series lead. In season five, 56 percent of the show’s audience was male. Younger adults aged 18-34 composed 22 percent of the show’s audience in season six, compared to 35 percent for season five, while adults aged 50-64 composed 27 percent of season six’s audience, up from 19 percent in season five.
That said, Netflix has repeatedly refuted Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings, saying that they are “not even close” to accurate. Netflix itself does not release any ratings information.
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