Best of the Best: These Are the 10 Most Watched Shows on Netflix


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It used to be that when you wanted to watch your favorite TV show, you had to schedule your day around it, either waiting for it to come on or setting your recorder to make sure you didn’t miss it.

That’s a “tradition” that today’s kids know nothing about, as their favorite shows are available on demand on their TV, computer, or mobile device thanks to streaming services like Netflix. Netflix offers hundreds of programs of original content, and the most watched shows on Netflix are an eclectic mix of genres that offer something for everyone.

Netflix has so much content that it can be overwhelming, and not all of the most watched shows on Netflix will be suitable for every viewer. We’ve put together an in-depth look at the most watched shows on Netflix so you can see how they compare to each other and find the perfect show for your next binge.

Most Watched Shows on Netflix FAQ

1. What Genres Are the Most Watched Shows on Netflix?

The ten most watched shows on Netflix include supernatural dramas, character-driven dramas, family comedies, documentaries, docudramas, and animated comedies.

2. What Age Range are the Most Watched Shows for?

The ten shows on this list are mostly watched by teenagers and up, with the exception of the family comedy Fuller House.

4. How Many Episodes Are Available?

The series on this list vary in length, with some, like When They See Us and Making a Murderer, being miniseries with a limited number of episodes, and others, like Orange is the New Black, having over fifty episodes spanning multiple seasons.

How We Reviewed

The following list of the most watched shows on Netflix was reviewed based on appeal to a general audience, appeal to a cult audience of loyal followers, amount of available content, acting, visuals, re-watchability, and mature content.

Overall Price Range

Netflix is a one-price service that allows you to watch as much as you want for a single flat fee. They have three pricing tiers starting at $8.99 a month and topping out at $17.99 a month. All content is available on all plans, but higher-priced plans let you watch on more screens and come with better picture quality.

What We Reviewed

  • Stranger Things
  • Dark
  • 13 Reasons Why
  • The Crown
  • Fuller House
  • When They See Us
  • Orange Is The New Black
  • Big Mouth
  • Making A Murderer
  • Black Mirror

Stranger Things

Contents

This 1980s set sci-fi drama takes place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, which is thrown into chaos when local boy Will Byers disappears after a game of Dungeons and Dragons with his friends. As his confused friends and his grief-stricken mother search for him, a mysterious girl from another world with dangerous powers emerges. Fusing classic 1980s adventures like The Goonies with the sci-fi horror of Alien, Stranger Things has developed a large cult audience and launched the careers of its young stars.

Three seasons are available with a fourth season green-lit.

Starring

  • Winona Ryder
  • David Harbour
  • Millie Bobby Brown
  • Finn Wolfhard
  • Gaten Matarzzo
  • Caleb McLaughlin
  • Natalia Dyer
  • Charlie Heaton
  • Joe Keery
  • Noah Schnapp

Genres

  • Science fiction
  • Horror
  • Coming of age
  • Period piece

Where to Watch

https://www.netflix.com/search?q=stranger&jbv=80057281&jbp=1&jbr=0

Dark

Contents

Netflix’s first German-language original, this science fiction thriller is available in a dubbed version for English speakers and has gained a major following for its twisty storytelling. Set in the small German village of Winden, it starts in a similar way to Stranger Things, with the disappearance of a child and a conspiracy erupting in the aftermath. Dark sets itself apart with an elaborate time travel conspiracy that explores how its main characters’ mistakes have been haunting them across time.

Dark has two seasons available with eighteen episodes and a third, final season coming.

Starring

  • Louis Hoffman
  • Andreas Pietschmann
  • Dietrich Hollinderbaumer
  • Angela Winkler
  • Florian Panzer
  • Moritz Jahn
  • Oliver Masucci
  • Jordis Triebel

Genres

  • Science fiction
  • Thriller
  • Time travel

Where to Watch

https://www.netflix.com/search?q=dark&jbv=70079583&jbp=1&jbr=0

13 Reasons Why

Contents

Based on the famous novel by Jay Asher, this teen drama and mystery is one of Netflix’s most buzzed-about dramas, and one of its most controversial. Focusing on a high school student named Clay Jensen as he attempts to solve the mystery of why his friend Hannah Baker committed suicide, its plot is set into motions when a set of thirteen tapes left by Hannah for the people who influenced her decision are found.

Praised for its unflinching look at teen mental health, but criticized for its graphic depiction of suicide, it’s an intense series driven by a tour de force acting performance by the posthumous lead. Two seasons are available with a third season coming.

Starring

  • Dylan Minnette
  • Katherine Langford
  • Christian Navarro
  • Alisha Boe
  • Brandon Flynn
  • Justin Prentice
  • Miles Heizer
  • Ross Butler
  • Derek Luke
  • Kate Walsh
  • Brian d’Arcy James

Genres

  • Teen drama
  • Suspense
  • Tragedy
  • High school

Where to Watch

[https://www.netflix.com/search?q=13&jbv=80117470&jbp=0&jbr=0

The Crown

Contents

A British-produced historical docudrama chronicling the life and six-decade reign of Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown plans to rotate its cast over its run as it ages the main characters. With a decade passing between each seasons, it’s chronicled Elizabeth’s rise to the throne as a young woman in the aftermath of World War II and the family dramas that followed in the aftermath.

Praised for its excellent acting and detailed historical recreations, it’s one of the most popular shows about the British royal family ever made. Twenty episodes are available with four more seasons planned.

Starring

  • Claire Foy
  • Matt Smith
  • Vanessa Kirby
  • Eileen Atkins
  • Jeremy Northam
  • Victoria Hamilton
  • Ben Miles
  • Greg Wise
  • Jared Harris
  • John Lithgow
  • Lia Williams
  • Anton Lesser
  • Matthew Goode
  • Olivia Colman (Season 3)

Genres

  • Historical drama
  • Costume drama
  • Docudrama

Where to Watch

https://www.netflix.com/search?q=The%20Crown&jbv=80025678&jbp=0&jbr=0

Fuller House

Contents

A revival of the beloved 1990s family sitcom about a widower raising his three daughters with the help of his brother-in-law and his best friend, this show flips the genders and puts grown eldest daughter DJ Tanner in charge of the household. With the help of her younger sister Stephanie and her best friend Kimmy, the Tanner family proves you can go home again, especially when original series leads–Bob Saget, John Stamos, and Dave Coulier–are along for the ride.

Four seasons are available with a fifth and final season coming.

Starring

  • Candace Cameron Bure
  • Jodie Sweetin
  • Andrea Barber
  • Michael Campion
  • Elias Harger
  • Soni Nicole Bringas
  • Juan Pablo Di Psce
  • Scott Weinger
  • John Brotherton
  • Ashley Liao
  • Adam Hagenbuch
  • Bob Saget (Guest)
  • John Stamos (Guest)
  • Dave Coulier (Guest)

Genres

  • Family comedy
  • Sequel/Spinoff

Where to Watch

https://www.netflix.com/search?q=Fuller%20House&jbv=80051137&jbp=0&jbr=0

When They See Us

Contents

Produced by Ava DuVernay, this crime-and-punishment docudrama focuses on the infamous Central Park 5 case, where a jogger was brutally assaulted and raped and five young men were convicted of the crime. Years later, a convicted felon confessed to the assault and the young men were released after several brutal years in prison.

Grounding the story in the experiences of the wrongly convicted teenagers and highly praised for its unflinching depiction of life behind bars, When They See Us is one of Netflix’s most-watched and best-reviewed shows. This is a four-part miniseries consisting of movie-length episodes ranging from 65 to 90 minutes.

Starring

  • Asante Blackk
  • Justin Cunningham
  • Caleel Harris
  • Jovan Adepo
  • Ethan Herisse
  • Chris Chalk
  • Jharrel Jerome
  • Marquis Rodriguez
  • Freddy Miyares
  • Marsha Stephanie Blake
  • Kylie Bunbury
  • Anjuane Ellis
  • Vera Farmiga
  • Felicity Huffman
  • John Leguizamo
  • Niecy Nash
  • Michael K. Williams

Genres

  • Docudrama
  • Crime and punishment
  • Tragedy

Where to Watch

https://www.netflix.com/search?q=When%20They%20See%20Us&jbv=80200549&jbp=0&jbr=0

Orange Is the New Black

Contents

Netflix’s first breakout original comedy, this prison-set satire is based on the memoir by Piper Kerman but has changed most of the details beyond the core story. When a white collar woman’s sketchy past comes back to haunt her, she’s sentenced to a year in federal prison for drug dealing.

Focusing on Piper’s struggle to adjust and get to know the diverse group of fellow female inmates at Litchfield, it shifts between comedy and a harsh look at the indignities of prison.  Orange is the New Black is a completed series and all 84 one-hour episodes are available to watch now.

Starring

  • Taylor Schilling
  • Laura Prepon
  • Kate Mulgrew
  • Jason Biggs
  • Uzo Aduba
  • Danielle Brooks
  • Natasha Lyonne
  • Taryn Manning
  • Selenis Leyva
  • Adrienne C. Moore
  • Dascha Polanco
  • Michael Harney
  • Nick Sandow
  • Yael Stone
  • Samira Wiley
  • Jackie Cruz

Genres

  • Dark comedy
  • Crime and punishment
  • Thriller

Where to Watch

https://www.netflix.com/search?q=Orange%20Is%20The%20New%20Black&jbv=70242311&jbp=0&jbr=0

Big Mouth

Contents

Based loosely on creator Nick Kroll’s upbringing in Westchester, Big Mouth is a mature-audience animated series about the pains and embarrassments of puberty. Focusing on a group of middle schoolers going through the most awkward years of their lives, this series sets itself apart with the presence of “Hormone Monsters”, a group of creatures that only the kids can see and encourage their worst instincts.

Big Mouth has two seasons and a double-sized Valentine’s Day special available, with four more seasons green-lit.

Starring the Voices of

  • Nick Kroll
  • John Mulaney
  • Jessi Klein
  • Jason Mantzoukas
  • Jenny Slate
  • Fred Armisen
  • Maya Rudolph
  • Jordan Peele

Genres

  • Animated comedy
  • Teen comedy
  • Gross-out humor

Where to Watch

https://www.netflix.com/search?q=Big%20Mouth&jbv=80117038&jbp=0&jbr=0

Making a Murderer

Contents

This true-crime documentary by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos follows the tangled case of Steven Avery, who was released from prison after serving eighteen years for a wrongful conviction. Soon after, he was charged with another murder. Filmed over thirteen years, the series is focused on proving their innocence and exposing the corrupt Wisconsin authorities that the filmmakers believe framed them,

Making a Murderer was released in two parts and consists of twenty episodes ranging from 55 to 77 minutes.

Starring

  • Steven Avery
  • Brendan Dassey
  • Kathleen Zellner
  • Steven Drizin
  • Laura Nirider
  • Ken Kratz
  • Patrick Willis
  • Michael O’Kelly

Genres

  • True crime
  • Documentary

Where to Watch

https://www.netflix.com/search?q=Making%20A%20Murderer&jbv=80000770&jbp=0&jbr=0

Black Mirror

ContentsOne of the most acclaimed shows in British history, this dystopian sci-fi thriller created by Charlie Brooker takes place in the near future and shows how fast-advancing technology could transform our lives. From the disturbing to the inspirational, every episode provides a different vision of the future that could be. Each episode is a mini-movie and attracts top actors from Hollywood and the British acting scene.

Black Mirror has five seasons comprising 22 episodes. A ninety-minute interactive special titled Bandersnatch is also available.

Starring

  • Miley Cyrus
  • Anthony Mackie
  • Rory Kinnear
  • Daniel Kaluuya
  • Jodie Whittaker
  • Hayley Atwell
  • Domhnall Gleeson
  • Jon Hamm
  • Oona Chaplin
  • Bryce Dallas Howard
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw
  • Jesse Plemons

Genres

  • Science fiction
  • Horror
  • Dystopian future

Where to Watch

https://www.netflix.com/search?q=Black%20Mirror&jbv=70264888&jbp=1&jbr=0

The Verdict

All ten of the shows on this list deliver thrills and great characters to get invested in. While most provide an extended viewing experience, only one transports you to a new world with every episode. Black Mirror isn’t just the best of the most watched shows on Netflix: it’s one of the most unique viewing experiences available and it gets our endorsement as Netflix’s best of the best.

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