To round out 2020, we took a close look at the ten series that spent the most weeks in the US Netflix top 10 this year with some surprising results.

It’s safe to say that one constant of 2020 was the skyrocketing in viewership on SVOD platforms across the board, but especially when it came to Netflix. 

Though Disney+ has been nipping at its heels this year, Netflix remains the dominant leader in the direct-to-consumer streaming market, boasting 195.15 million paid subscribers worldwide – with approximately 73 million in the US alone – and posted $6.44B in revenue (up 22.7%) at the end of Q3.

Why is Netflix so successful? Much can be attributed in part to its diverse portfolio of licensed content and blockbuster originals, including Stranger Things, Ozark, The Witcher, The Crown, and the end-of-year breakout star, The Queen’s Gambit.

Here's what else we found when we zoomed in on the ten series that ruled the Netflix top 10 in the US this year:

#1 - The Office (US) (NBC) | 49 weeks

Michael Scott and The Office ruled supreme again, spending 49 weeks to date in the top 10. Maybe it was the lack of actually being in an office that made us lament those days, but the NBC comedy was the most-watched series of this year — racking up 22.28M unique viewers and 10.09% of total viewers on Netflix. Season 5 was its most-streamed, and earned 2.16M viewers in March, right at the start of the pandemic.

#2 - Grey's Anatomy (ABC) | 47 weeks

Another constant in the top 10 was Grey’s Anatomy, with 47 weeks in the top 10 to date. The hit drama boasted 12.66M unique viewers and a 5.74% share of total viewers on Netflix this year. Around 70.94% of the Grey’s audience was female, and Seasons 1 and 2 were its most popular. Season 16 received the highest monthly viewers for the year, with 1.54M at its peak in May. 

#3 - Criminal Minds (CBS) | 34 weeks
The cult crime show came in third on this list with 34 weeks in the top 10, and saw 12.76M unique viewers tuning in – 5.78% of total viewers on Netflix in 2020. The debut season was also the most popular of the 12 seasons available (out of 15 total – the last 3 are on YouTube, iTunes and Prime Video) averaging a peak of 1.42M viewers in July.

#4 - Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon) | 14 weeks

The beloved 2000s cartoon was released back onto the platform in May, where it has since spent 14 weeks in the Netflix top 10, pulling in 17.3M unique viewers and 7.84% of total viewers in 2020. Its first season crested at 7.29M monthly viewers in May.

#5 - Schitt’s Creek (CBC) | 11 weeks
Rounding out the top five was Schitt’s Creek with 11 weeks in the top 10 this year. In total, 12.96M unique viewers tuned in to watch the Rose family navigate their new lives – 5.87% of total viewers on Netflix in 2020. In October, Netflix audiences showed their love for Season 1 with approximately 3M viewers tuning in. As Moira once said, "This wine is awful. Give me another glass."

#6 - Ozark (Netflix) | 8 weeks
The crime drama created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams garnered 18.41M unique viewers and 8.34% of total viewers on Netflix this year, and was renewed for a fourth and final season in June – which comes across as no surprise since Ozark has not only gotten a largely positive reception from critics (and 32 Primetime Emmy Award nominations to boot), but also enjoys a 92.7% Thumbs Up rating from Netflix viewers.

#7 - The Queen's Gambit (Netflix) | 7 weeks
The coming-of-age drama about a fictional chess prodigy has taken the world by storm and pulled in a whopping 9.82M unique viewers since its release on October 23 – 4.45% of total viewers on Netflix in 2020. The miniseries also has an almost even split of male and female viewers: 49.03% to 50.97%.

#7 - You (Lifetime / Netflix) | 7 weeks
Starring a love-crazed and slightly obsessive Penn Badgley, You spent 7 weeks in the top 10 this year as 20.06M unique viewers got on the emotional rollercoaster with Joe Goldberg – 9.09% of total viewers on Netflix in 2020. In January, the series was renewed for a third season by Netflix, which is set to be released next year.

#7 - Love Is Blind (Netflix) | 7 weeks
Meanwhile reality dating show Love Is Blind also clocked in 7 weeks on the top 10, topping 13.76M unique viewers and 6.24% of total viewers on Netflix this year. The series skewed female, with women accounting for 69.23% of Love is Blind's viewers. Overall, 47.87% of the show's viewers were 18–24 years old so – excuse our pun – but Love is also young...

#10 - All American (The CW) | 6 weeks

Last but certainly not least, All American spent 6 weeks in the Netflix top 10, with 15.74M unique viewers and 7.14% of total viewers this year. In March, when the second season dropped on the platform, the teen drama starring Daniel Ezra skyrocketed to 6.93M viewers for the month and kept riding the viewership wave throughout the pandemic. On December 18, it was announced that The CW is in early development of a backdoor pilot for a spin-off of Geffri Maya's character.

Note that this article was written using PlumResearch data from January 1, 2020 to December 18, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact office@plumresearch.com.