Netflix and Apple TV Plus will fight for crime show dominance in the new year, and I can't wait

Sofia Vergara's Griselda sits with her arms folded in her self-titled Netflix crime series
Sofia Vergara's Griselda will be playing catch-up in January. (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix and Apple TV Plus are set to go head-to-head in January 2024 as the streaming giants fight it out for crime show superiority.

Indeed, two of the world's best streaming services are due to release new crime thrillers within weeks of one another after New Year's Day, with Netflix's Griselda and Apple TV Plus' Criminal Record aiming to dominate this particular genre.

It's the latter that'll have a head start on the competition, too, with Criminal Record set to join Apple's streaming platform on Friday, January 12. The UK crime show stars Doctor Who alumnus Peter Capaldi as Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Hegarty, who is confronted by newly anointed Detective Sergeant June Lenker (The Good Wife's Cush Jumbo) over a decades-old murder case when fresh evidence comes to light. As the veteran detective locks horns with his young counterpart, battle lines are drawn as the pair respectively seek to maintain their legacy and boost their career.

Netflix, though, won't be going down without a fight. Less than two weeks after Criminal Record attempts to *ahem* lock down the crime show corner, the streaming giant will release Griselda, the Sofia Vergara-starring crime thriller from the team behind acclaimed show Narcos.

Landing on the platform on Thursday, January 25, Griselda tells the tale of real-life drug kingpin Griselda Blanco who, according to Netflix, "created one of the most profitable cartels in history. In 1970s-80s Miami, Blanco’s lethal blend of unsuspected savagery and charm helped her expertly navigate between business and family, leading her to become widely known as 'the Godmother.'"

Right now, it's hard to say which project will come out on top. I'd be surprised if Griselda doesn't make an early play for inclusion in our best Netflix shows guide. After all, it's coming from the team behind Narcos, which is one of the streamer's best crime-based series – and that's saying something when you consider Netflix is also home to utterly brilliant crime shows like Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Ozark, and Kaleidoscope.

Apple, though, will be equally confident that Criminal Record can convince the jury that it deserves top billing between the pair. I suspect it'll make its way onto our best Apple TV Plus shows list and, in doing so, join some terrific crime-based series including Black Bird and Slow Horses.

Regardless of who ends up winning this bout, I'll be tuning in to see Griselda and Criminal Record duke it out for crime-based supremacy. Currently, Netflix is the undisputed king of the streaming world – its near-250 million-strong subscriber base proves as much, and that's before you factor in its expansive TV library and film collection (read our best Netflix movies hub while you're here), even if its recent price hikes and crackdown on password sharing have irked some customers.

However, despite Apple TV Plus also receiving a major price hike this year, I wouldn't discount the streamer's chances of giving Netflix's Griselda a run for its money. Apple's streamer might have similarly significant funds as its rival (thanks to its parent company), but its movie and TV offerings are nonetheless impressive and award-winning. There's a good reason why Apple TV Plus is viewed by many as the best streamer for original TV shows, so Netflix isn't guaranteed a sure fire victory when Griselda and Criminal Record engage in the first big streaming battle of 2024. As a fan of both services, I can't wait to see who comes out on top.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

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