Netflix has revealed its top 5 most-watched TV shows ever but which original series are the streaming service’s most viewed?

By October 2020, Netflix had over 195 million subscribers worldwide, making it comfortably the biggest film and TV streaming service in the world.

As a result, there is always plenty of interest in exactly which films and TV shows are the most popular on the streaming service.

Now, according to Newsweek, Netflix has finally revealed exactly that by releasing a list of the streaming service’s five most-watched original TV series.

But just which shows make up the top 5 list of Netflix’s most-watched series ever?


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Netflix’s five most-watched shows ever

Before we delve properly into this list, it’s worth noting that Netflix supposedly counts a view after just two minutes of watch-time, so even if you’ve only watched a few minutes of one episode, it still counts.

On top of that, viewing figures – which have been broken down into households rather than individual viewers – are only taken from the first four weeks after a show’s launch so the true numbers may vary slightly.

5. Bridgerton (63 million households – prediction)

Release date: December 25th, 2020

Bridgerton was a late addition to Netflix’s library in 2020, only releasing on Christmas Day.

However, the romantic period drama has proven to be extremely popular, partly due to the escapism offered by a period series and also the fact that it released over the festive holiday period.

According to Newsweek though, the 63 million figure is just a prediction by Netflix, based on where it expects the series to end up after four weeks.


4. Tiger King (64 million households)

Release date: March 20th, 2020

True crime documentaries are always popular on Netflix but something set Tiger King apart when it released in March 2020.

It’s undeniable that Tiger King released at the perfect time, coinciding with the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic as it meant viewers were stuck at home binging Netflix.

However, the fact that Joe Exotic and his outrageous deeds were so bizarre clearly drew in viewers as they simply had to be seen to be believed.


3. Stranger Things: Season 3 (64 million households)

Release date: July 4th, 2019

Since it launched in 2016, Stranger Things has become one of Netflix’s flagship series.

The sci-fi horror has only attracted more viewers with each new instalment so it would come as little surprise to see Stranger Things 4 surpass season 3’s 64 million-viewer benchmark.


2. Money Heist: Part 4 (65 million households)

Release date: April 3rd, 2020

The success of Money Heist (or La Casa de Papel) is fairly surprising given that it’s a series of Spanish origin on an American-based streaming service which has a largely English-speaking audience.

On top of that, Money Heist’s first-ever season wasn’t even a Netflix original as it was broadcast on Spanish TV.

Regardless, the high-octane heist thriller has clearly made Netflix its home and takes second place on this list.


1. The Witcher: Season 1 (76 million households)

Release date: December 20th, 2019

A Game of Thrones-esque fantasy series that stars Henry Cavill, what more could you ask for?

The Witcher instantly smashed records when it released on Netflix and a second season was ordered up before the first instalment had even released.

Based on a much-loved book series and sharing the same source material as one of the most popular video games of all time in The Witcher 3, Netflix’s TV adaptation was always destined to succeed and takes top spot in the streaming service’s most-watched shows ever.


Given how it’s only just been released, Bridgerton’s ascension to fifth spot on the list of Netflix’s five most-watched shows is hugely impressive, even though its viewing figures are only estimates at the moment.

If Netflix’s Bridgerton prediction comes true, it will surpass The Queen’s Gambit in fifth spot.

The chess-based series was one of Netflix’s surprise successes of 2020 but just misses out on the list with 62 million viewing households.

What this list of Netflix’s five most-watched shows doesn’t factor in, however, is that movies often attract higher viewing figures and the Chris Hemsworth-starring Extraction is actually Netflix’s most-popular original film with 99 million viewers according to Bloomberg.