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Why the Week Before Thanksgiving Will Be a Streaming Battle Royale

Ben Bowman

This holiday season, streaming services are prepared to go to war for your dollar. They’ve been saving the big guns for the week leading up to Thanksgiving, and you’ll end up as the ultimate winner. Here’s how each streaming service is planning its lineup.


Netflix is firing the first shot with “Tiger King” Season 2 on November 17. With Joe Exotic behind bars and the bulk of Rick Kirkham’s footage burned in that mysterious fire, it’s hard to know how much quality video we’ll get and how much is just leftovers from the Season 1 cutting room floor. Still, the huge audiences from the first season are likely to return for more tiger train wrecks.

On November 18, Netflix drops the third movie in its popular “Princess Switch” series with Vanessa Hudgens.

November 19 brings two important releases. The live-action “Cowboy Bebop” with John Cho is sure to divide fans of the original anime, but it will draw a lot of eyes. That day also brings “Tick, Tick… Boom!” a musical biopic directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and starring Andrew Garfield as “Rent” creator Jonathan Larson.

November 23 brings a “Waffles + Mochi” holiday special for the kids. And November 24 brings “A Boy Called Christmas” with Toby Jones, Sally Hawkins, Kristen Wiig, Jim Broadbent, and Maggie Smith.

Netflix has cranked out some high-quality Christmas flicks in recent years, including “Jingle Jangle,” “Klaus,” and “The Christmas Chronicles” films. If Netflix is positioning “A Boy Called Christmas” for the day before Thanksgiving, they must have a lot of confidence in it.

Netflix has more holiday treats in store for December, but they’re packing an awful lot of firepower into the pre-Thanksgiving week.

Amazon Prime Video

Prime Video is charging into battle with its mega-budget “The Wheel of Time” series starring Rosamund Pike. The first three episodes in the series will arrive on November 19. New episodes will arrive weekly until the finale on Christmas Eve. With more than 10 million views of this trailer, it looks to be hotly anticipated.

With 1,800 named characters in the “Wheel of Time” book series, this has the makings of a long-running hit if it connects with fans.


Disney+ looks to court their Marvel fans with the long-awaited “Hawkeye” series. With its combination of action and Christmas, the trailer has a distinctly “Die Hard” feel.

Disney is also releasing a major title to appeal to viewers beyond its core audience. Peter Jackson’s 6-hour “Get Back” docuseries will chronicle The Beatles at the end of their run. It pulls from 56 hours of never-before-seen footage of the Fab Four. We’ll get to see the Beatles’ complete rooftop concert from atop London’s Savile Row. A title like this is likely to drive a new audience to the service, much the same way 2020’s “Hamilton” led so many to sample Disney+ for the first time.


HBO Max is still ramping up its catalog, so much of its 2021 growth came on the back of WarnerMedia big screen releases that began streaming on the same day they hit theaters. Their pre-Thanksgiving drop is the Oscar hopeful biopic of the father of Venus and Serena Williams. Will Smith stars in “King Richard.” It arrives November 19.

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