Masters of the Air stays a high-flying hit for Apple TV+


Austin Butler, who recently played Elvis Presley, stars in the show.
"Masters of the Air" continues to be near the top of the popularity charts.
Photo: Apple

The WWII drama Masters of the Air draws in a big audience. It’s stayed near the tops of popularity charts of two different ratings services for weeks now, ever since the premiere in January.

Critics like it too, so the ongoing series that dramatizes the U.S. Army Air Force’s role in helping defeat Germany is another success for Apple TV+.

And the historical crime drama Killers of the Flower Moon continues to be a crowd pleaser as well.

Masters of the Air soars up the ratings charts

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman reminded the world that historical war dramas could be wildly popular. Their first collaboration was Band of Brothers in 2001. That was followed by The Pacific in 2010, and now they are completing the Army/Navy/Air Force trilogy.

Their latest is Masters of the Air, an in-depth look at the “bomber boys” in the U.S. Army Air Force squadrons that took the war to Hitler via brutal and harrowingly dangerous bombing campaigns through skies filled with exploding flak and increasingly deadly Nazi fighter planes. It focuses on the men of the Eighth Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group.

This is not a simple action flick. As Apple TV+ says:

“Portraying the psychological and emotional price paid by these young men as they helped destroy the horror of Hitler’s Third Reich is at the heart of Masters of the Air. Some were shot down and captured; some were wounded or killed. And some were lucky enough to make it home. Regardless of individual fate, a toll was exacted on them all.”

There’s clearly an audience for this type of show. The drama is at No. 7 on ReelGood’s list of Top 10 Movies & TV on streaming during the week ending February 21. And it is No. 8 on JustWatch‘s list of top streaming shows for the week ending February 18. The series has been on both lists week after week since the series launched.

Estimates from companies like JustWatch and Reelgood are necessary because streaming services rarely reveal how many people watch their offerings.

And it’s not only audiences who like the show. Masters of the Air has an 87% approval rating from the review-aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

Stellar cast and crew makes for great TV

Men of the 100th bomber group depicted in "Masters of the Air," premiering January 26, 2024 on Apple TV+.
Men of the 100th bomber group depicted in “Masters of the Air,” now on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple

Academy Award nominee Austin Butler (Elvis, The Shannara Chronicles) leads the cast, which also features Callum Turner (Fantastic Beasts film series), Anthony Boyle (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Nate Mann, Rafferty Law, Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Josiah Cross, Branden Cook and Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who).

Spielberg, Hanks and Goetzman executive produce the series. Amblin Television’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey co-executive produce along with Playtone’s Steven Shareshian. John Orloff, who also worked on Band of Brothers, writes writes the series, and co-executive produces along with Graham Yost. Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Dee Rees and Tim Van Patten direct the series.

The first six episodes of Masters of the Air are available to watch now on Apple TV+. The next is scheduled to appear on Friday, March 1.

Watch on Apple TV

Killers of the Flower Moon is just as popular

Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon has been drawing a crowd of viewers since it hit the Apple TV+ streaming service in mid January, and that continues.

The historical crime drama has stayed on the top ten lists of popular films ever since it started streaming. For the most recent week, ReelGood had it at No. 5 while JustWatch puts it at No. 6.

Watch now on Apple TV+

Watching either the historical film or the historical series comes with a subscription to Apple TV+. The service is $9.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. You can also get it via any tier of the Apple One subscription bundle.

And Apple’s streaming video service also includes much more, of course. There are comedies, science fiction, children’s shows, nature documentaries, etc.

Want more tips on what to watch on Apple TV+? Read our guide to the 15 best shows on Apple TV+.

David Snow contributed to this article. It was originally published on February 3, and has been updated with new information.


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