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Netflix's most popular show of the year is finally revealed - and it's not what you think

Apparently we spent almost 100,000 years watching Netflix's most popular show...

Netflix's most popular show of the year is finally revealed - and it's not what you think
Andrew Williams
13 December 2023

Want to know the most-watched Netflix show of the year? We finally have the stats.

For the first time ever, Netflix has released its What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report. It’s going to fire one of these out twice a year, relaying the stats on the most-watched movies and shows of the last six months.

The Night Agent sits at the number one spot, racking up an incredible 812,100,000 hours. That is 92 millennia. Its second season is due to begin filming next year.

Ginny and Georgia Season 2 is in second position, with 665 million hours. Wednesday season 1, the show listed as the most-viewed series on Netflix on the Tudum site, is at number four with 507.7 million hours.

The first film on the list is The Mother, starring Jennifer Lopez, which racked-up 249.9 million hours. At a shade under two hours, this is equivalent to around 120 million views. That’s if no-one quite half-way thru. We imagine some will have, as it’s a pretty mediocre movie.

There’s an awful lot for stat fans to dig into in the What We Watched report. It compiles data on more than 18,000 movies and TV seasons.

Netflix's most popular show of the year is finally revealed - and it's not what you think
Image Credit: Netflix

You can download it for yourself, and use a spreadsheet app to hunt down the stats on your favourite content. Maximum nerd points.

Lockwood and Co. fan? As you’ll know it was canned shortly after its original broadcast, and accounts for 113.6 million hours of viewing time.

This is more than double the hours of the also-cancelled 1899, with a rather disappointing 51.8 million hours. Of course, this data just misses out on the show’s actual release — it tracks viewing from January to June 2023, while 1899 was released in November 2022.

Are we obsessed with cancelled Netflix TV shows? Yep, pretty much.

We also love an underdog, so we have trawled through the thousands of bottom-ranking entries to pick out some under-loved content you might want to check out. Or re-discover.

We’ve stuck to content available globally here. While you’ll find classics listed as having only 100,000 hours streamed, like American Beauty, Foxcatcher, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Moonrise Kingdom, some may have only been available in a few smaller countries for a limited period.

Here are the top 10 shows and movies that deserve a bit more love in 2024.

  • Virunga: Celebrated 2014 Netflix documentary (300,000 hours)
  • MANK: David Fincher’s biopic of Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (300,000 hours)
  • Creep 2: Creepy low budget horror from the Duplass brothers (600,000 hours)
  • Barry: well-reviewed Netflix original biopic of Barack Obama (600,000 hours)
  • The Polka King: Jack Black comedy biopic about a polka-playing fraudster (800,000 hours)
  • ROMA: Seriously? Multi-oscar winning film. Time for a revisit. (800,000 hours)
  • Creep: The original companion to the above horror film. Excellent. (900,000 hours)
  • Shimmer Lake: Thriller starring Rainn Wilson (1,100,000 hours)
  • Tick, Tick... Boom!: Musical drama by Lin-Manuel Miranda, starring Andrew Garfield (1,300,000 hours)
  • Blown Away: Compelling glass-blowing TV competition (1,200,000 hours)

Netflix’s report only collates information on pieces of content that have been viewed for at least 50,000 hours. One other thing you'll note from browsing this report: stand-up comedy really doesn't pull in the viewers much, so perhaps it's also time to check in with your favourite stand-ups on Netflix.