Netflix's 20 Most-Watched Original TV Shows and Movies

Ellen Gutoskey
Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page in Bridgerton.
Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page in Bridgerton. / Liam Daniel/Netflix

You probably don’t need official confirmation from Netflix to believe that a lot of people watched Bridgerton when it debuted over the 2020 holiday season. Social media was rife with mentions of the Shonda Rhimes series and its stars; and there’s a good chance it came up in some of your own conversations, too.

What you would need Netflix to weigh in on is exactly how Bridgerton measured up against other buzzy originals, from Stranger Things to Money Heist. And, as Variety reports, the streaming behemoth just did. At Vox Media’s Code Conference this week, Netflix’s chief content officer and co-CEO Ted Sarandos revealed a heretofore unknown list of the most-watched original series and movies, ranked by total viewing hours in the first 28 days after each program’s premiere.

For TV, Bridgerton’s inaugural season came out on top with a 28-day total viewing time of 625 million hours, a solid 6 million hours ahead of part four of Money Heist. Money Heist wasn’t the only series with a later season that outperformed earlier ones. Season 3 of Stranger Things clocked 582 million hours, landing it in third place; season 2 came in eighth, and the first season didn’t chart at all. 13 Reasons Why and You also had sophomore seasons that outpaced their first installments.

On the movie side, no other Netflix original has managed to unseat the Sandra Bullock-led thriller Bird Box (2018), which amassed 282 viewing hours in its first 28 days. Its closest competition was 2020's Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth, which came in second place with 231 million hours. On the list of most-watched movies based on the number of Netflix accounts that streamed at least two minutes of the program in the first 28 days, Extraction and Bird Box’s positions were flipped.

See the full lists of movies and shows—and their impressive hour counts—below.

Netflix Original Series

  1. Bridgerton (Season 1) // 625 million
  2. Money Heist (Part 4) // 619 million
  3. Stranger Things (Season 3) // 582 million
  4. The Witcher (Season 1) // 541 million
  5. 13 Reasons Why (Season 2) // 496 million
  6. 13 Reasons Why (Season 1) // 476 million
  7. You (Season 2) // 457 million
  8. Stranger Things (Season 2) // 427 million
  9. Money Heist (Part 3) // 426 million
  10. Ginny & Georgia (Season 1) // 381 million

Netflix Original Movies

  1. Bird Box (2018) // 282 million
  2. Extraction (2020) // 231 million
  3. The Irishman (2019) // 215 million
  4. The Kissing Booth 2 (2020) // 209 million
  5. 6 Underground (2019) // 205 million
  6. Spenser Confidential (2020) // 197 million
  7. Enola Holmes (2020) // 190 million
  8. Army of the Dead (2021) // 187 million
  9. The Old Guard (2020) // 186 million
  10. Murder Mystery (2019) // 170 million

[h/t Variety]