The Most Watched Netflix Shows Of All Time

The push for original content on Netflix is bigger than ever, with the streaming service spending $12 billion on content creation in 2018, and a forecasted $15 billion in 2019.

Netflix is infamous for keeping the ratings for their shows private, only ever releasing statistics if a show is doing particularly well, and they usually keep the specifics to themselves. Lucky for us, we’re talking about the most watched Netflix original shows in the U.S., meaning a lot of their ratings have been released. Smash hits like Stranger Things and Orange Is the New Black are included, but there are also a couple of surprises…

The Haunting Of Hill House

Haunting Of Hill House
Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

The fact that this show was so scary viewers supposedly were throwing up and passing out wasn’t a hindrance for the ratings, with the show still ranking as one of the most popular.

Based on the Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, it was deemed as “close to a work of genius” by the king of horror, Stephen King. The Haunting of Hill House was praised by many critics as one of the best depictions of a horror story to ever take the screen.

You might not have even watched Netflix’s most viewed series ever yet..

13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why cover
Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

A controversial teen drama, 13 Reasons Why has been a consistent hit for Netflix in both its first and second seasons. Despite the concerns around the graphic topics the show is based around, the show’s fanbase didn’t see a drop between seasons one and two.

The first episode of Season 2 reportedly had 6.1 million viewers tuning in within the first three days of its availability on Netflix. The show has been renewed for a season 3 which will be debuting later in 2019 but the details of the season are still unknown.

The Crown

Math Smith and Claire Foy at premiere of The Crown
Photo Credit: NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Images

A royal biopic based on Queen Elizabeth II, one of the longest reigning monarchs in history, the first two seasons of The Crown meant big ratings for Netflix. The show’s season two premiere reportedly averaged 3 million viewers, which, though smaller than some, is a dedicated fan group.

The show’s third season will premiere later in 2019 with Olivia Colman taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth from Claire Foy. Netflix’s has already announced that season four is in the works too, which will feature the much-anticipated storylines of young Princess Diana.

Fuller House

fuller-house promo images for season 3
Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

Fuller House, the revival of the beloved 1980s and ’90s sitcom, stars Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, and Andrea Barber reprising their roles. The show is considered a huge success for Netflix.

The first season was viewed 21.5 million times in its first month. The season 3 premiere episode reached 4.6 million viewers in the first week, and the show is now up to 4 seasons, with season 5 of the revival set to premiere in the fall of 2019.

When They See Us

When They See Us central park five screenshot
Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix
Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

The Netflix Original mini-series When They See Us premiered on May 31 and Netflix is now saying it is the most-watched series in the U.S. every day since its premiere.

From director and writer Ava DuVernay, the four-part series is a dramatization of the Central Park jogger case from the late 1980s where five young black men were wrongfully convicted of sexual assault. The series has caused such an uproar against the prosecutors of the case that one has handed in her resignation from Columbia Law School due to the backlash.

One of the most anticipated shows of the summer is coming up!

Orange Is The New Black

OITNB cast at premiere in New York SVA Theater
Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

One of Netflix’s earliest original series hits (premiering just five months after House of Cards), Orange Is the New Black quickly became a not-to-be-missed dramedy. From the beginning, the show has focused on telling a narrative from the perspective of undervalued voices: black, Latino, gay and transgender women in America.

The Season 4 premiere brought 6.7 million U.S. viewers in the first three days, and the Season 6 premiere held strong with just under 5.5 million in three days. The 7th and final season will be released on Netflix on July 26, 2019.

Big Mouth

big mouth show logo
Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

Created by comedians Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg, Big Mouth is an adult animated comedy voiced by an all-star cast including Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Jordan Peele and more.

Big Mouth was one of the top 20 shows viewed on US Netflix in 2018, right alongside cult classics like The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Parks and Recreation, and Friends. Netflix ranks its viewership numbers with the likes of You and Sex Education’s 40 million+.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things season 2 lincoln square theater
Photo Credit: Paul Zimmerman/WireImage via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Paul Zimmerman/WireImage via Getty Images

Stranger Things has constantly smashed viewership records, with the first episodes of season one averaging 15.8 million viewers within the first three days of release and the second season premiering with 8.8 million in the first three days.

Starring Winona Ryder, Millie Bobby Brown, David Harbour, and Finn Wolfhard, the science-fiction horror series set in 1980s Indiana will debut its anxiously awaited third season on July 4, 2019, after nearly a two-year hiatus.

BoJack Horseman

bojack horseman screencap
Photo Credit: Netflix via NYT
Photo Credit: Netflix via NYT

The adult animated comedy-drama BoJack Horseman was another one of the top 20 ranked shows on Netflix in 2018. On air since 2014, to story follows the main characterBoJack, who was a big hit on the 90s show Horsin’ Around who is struggling through our current day.

The sixth season of the show will premiere later in 2019, following a highly-rated season 5 of the show which sits at a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. BoJack was one of the first series for Netflix when they were still getting into creating original content and it has proved successful for them.

From Gossip Girl to full-on murderer, Penn Badgley really brought in the ratings with this Netflix show.

Making A Murderer

making a murderer netflix docu
Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

Making A Murderer is a Netflix documentary series documenting the story of Steven Avery, a man who served 18 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering a woman, and then just four years after he is released, he’s convicted of a second murder.

The first season drew in 19.3 million viewers in the first 35 days of streaming in the U.S, but the second season saw a drastic decline in viewership.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones Premiere Krysten Ritter
Photo Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic
Photo Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

With the third and final season coming out in the summer of 2019, Marvel’s Jessica Jones is yet another Netflix Marvel creation that started with strong viewership but couldn’t quite keep a hold.

The show was rated as one of the top 5 shows the year it premiered, with 4.8 million views in the first 30 days, surpassing other Netflix shows like Master of None (3.9 million) and Narcos (3.2 million).

Sex Education

Sex Education asa butterfield and emma mackey
Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

The eight-episode first season of the British series starring Gillian Anderson, Asa Butterfield, and Emma Mackey premiered in January 2019 and was confirmed for a second season just a month later in February 2019, after a very positive reception.

Netflix estimated that Sex Education would reach the same level as You, with 40 million views in the first four weeks, though it has never been officially confirmed if the show hit that mark or not.

You

You - joe goldberg - netflix - penn badgley
Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley brought in the views with his performance as Joe Goldberg, the bookstore manager/murderer in Netflix’s You. With a reported 40 million viewers in the first four weeks, it was a home run for the streaming service.

Originally premiering on Lifetime, You had a less-than-impressive run with very few viewers. Once it premiered on Netflix, it was officially adopted into the Netflix Originals family, and season two of the psychological thriller is expected to premiere later in 2019.

Wait until you read how many viewers Jason Bateman’s “Ozark” brought in…

Marvel’s Daredevil

daredevil netflix new york Madison Square Garden
Photo Credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for New York Comic Con
Photo Credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for New York Comic Con

The most viewed Netflix Marvel series so far, Marvel’s Daredevil season two premiere was viewed by around 5.8 million viewers in its first week online. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep up the momentum, with the third season only bringing in 2.5 million in its first week of release.

Following its third season, the show was canceled by Netflix, though supposedly it was not due to the viewership because there was still a large demand for the show. Daredevil is one of 5 Marvel series that were canceled by Netflix after a few seasons.

Bodyguard

bodyguard screening and panel richard madden and keeley hawes
Photo Credit: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix
Photo Credit: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix

Bodyguard, starring Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes, originally premiered on BBC One and was a smash hit, which is why Netflix picked it up.

The six-part series was launched globally by Netflix and is rated as Britain’s most popular drama since Downton Abbey achieving a record 11 million viewers tuning into the season finale. The season two release date has yet to be confirmed but creator Jed Mercurio has confirmed they are “in talks.”

Black Mirror

black mirror logo/opening
Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

Originally a British series, the first two seasons of science-fiction anthology series Black Mirror premiered on Channel 4 in the U.K. before being purchased by Netflix in September 2015. Since then, it has continued to be a success, with its season three premiere reaching 3.7 million.

Leading off the success of the series, Netflix developed its first interactive film, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Bandersnatch leads viewers through a story that has five main endings with multiple choices along the way, with the average path taking around 90 minutes to complete.

House Of Cards

Kevin Spacey house of cards season tw
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

House of Cards was one of the first Netflix original series to ever premiere and was the first to gain such a significant audience.

Following a sexual misconduct scandal that led to Kevin Spacey’s exit, the show announced the sixth season would be it’s last, with Robin Wright’s character taking on the role of the lead protagonist. Unfortunately, the show could not keep up the hype of seasons prior, with the premiere episode for the final season reaching around 2.9 million, whereas the Season 5 premiere had 4.6 million.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt  2017 in Los Angeles, California
Photo Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Photo Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Since its 2015 premiere, Tina Fey’s quirky comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has brought in millions of views for Netflix. Season two saw 8.4 million viewers following the lives of Kimmy, Titus, and friends, and it’s estimated that the other seasons were just as successful for viewership.

The shows fourth and final season premiered in 2018, but there is supposedly an interactive film in the works for Kimmy Schmidt for 2020, following Netflix’s massive success with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Marvel’s Luke Cage

Luke Cage season 2 premiere Mike Colter
Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Netflix
Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Netflix

Marvel’s Luke Cage had a strong start when it premiered, with an estimated 3.6 million viewers watching season one in the first five days. After the season two premiere, though, viewership declined drastically, reportedly losing nearly 59% of the viewers from season one.

The show was canceled after season two despite it being one of the top shows on Netflix during its first season. It was supposedly canceled due to “creative differences” between the show’s writers and other crew, and not because of its low ratings. It seems like a pretty vague and well-timed excuse, doesn’t it?

Ozark

Ozark - Jason Bateman Laura Linney
Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

This one is still up in the air. According to the US TV ratings company Nielsen, Ozark was the most streamed show for July to October 2017 reaching 16.7 million viewers. The Jason Bateman show reportedly beat out Stranger Things, Narcos, 13 Reasons Why and House of Cards.

Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you what this show is about, nor could I name a single person in my circle who has watched it so it’s unclear where these nearly 17 million views supposedly came from, but I guess someone was watching it…