Jan. 26 (UPI) — Stranger Things was the most-viewed U.S. TV show in 2022, according to Nielsen.
The sci-fi Netflix series, starring Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Woodruff, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink and Gaten Matarazzo, roared to the top of the list with 52 billion minutes streamed in 2022.
That was almost as much as the record of 57.1 billion minutes The Office set in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. And considering the vast disparity of episodes available for the two shows — 192 for The Office compared to 34 for Stranger Things, either people are watching episodes of Stranger Things more times or more people are watching the series.
Netflix is home to the most watched streaming series overall, both original and acquired by the network. The Top 3 overall most streamed programs in 2022 were Stranger Things, NCIS, acquired from CBS, and Cocomelon, the popular children’s show that originated on YouTube.
NCIS has 356 episodes on the streamer that were watched a total of 38.1 billion hours, but had the advantage of many more episodes. Network series’ have almost double the amount of episodes as shows made specifically for streamers. Cocomelon, by contrast, had 37.8 billion views on only 18 episodes.
When it comes to original programming, Netflix is dominant, with the Top 10 shows streamed, including Ozark, Cobra Kai, the reality series Love is Blind and their prestigious juggernaut, The Crown. Netflix’s new hit show, Wednesday, based on the character from The Addams Family, broke into the Top 10 in 2022 in a big way by coming in at 18.6 billion minutes viewed on just eight episodes. Prime Video’s The Boys is the first original offering coming from the streamer at #11 with 10.6 billion minutes viewed on 24 episodes.
Disney+ has the edge in movie streaming with Encanto, which has songs written by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, coming in at #1 with 27.4 billion views. That’s more than double Disney’s own Turning Red at #2 with over just over 11 billion views. Disney’s Hocus Pocus 2, Moana and Frozen are all in the Top 10. Disney has ten of the Top 15 streaming movies overall, but Netflix’ Sing 2 and The Adam Project made the Top 5.
Ratings cover the period between Dec. 27, 2021 to Dec. 25, 2022.
Nielsen, the longtime ratings data leader made the pivot from just tracking TV networks to streaming to analyze the way that people now view television. But their data excludes PC and mobile phone viewing in favor of audio-based content data, so they estimate viewing for steaming and cable networks including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, HBO Max, and Apple TV+.
Top Streaming Shows overall
1. Stranger Things (Netflix), 52 billion minutes
2. NCIS (Netflix), 38.1 billion
3. Cocomelon (Netflix), 37.8 billion
4. Ozark (Netflix), 31.3 billion
5. Encanto (Disney+), 27.4 billion
6. Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix), 26.8 billion
7. Criminal Minds (Netflix/Hulu/Paramount+), 24.9billion
8. Bluey (Disney+), 21.1 billion
9. Gilmore Girls (Netflix), 20.8 billion
10. Seinfeld (Netflix), 19.3 billion
Top Original Series
1. Stranger Things, (Netflix) 52 billion minutes
2. Ozark, (Netflix) billion
3. Wednesday, (Netflix) billion
4. Cobra Kai, (Netflix) billion
5. Bridgerton (Netflix), 14 billion
6. Virgin River (Netflix), 13.6 billion
7. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (Netflix), 13.4billion
8. Love Is Blind (Netflix), 13.1 billion
9. Inventing Anna (Netflix), 12.9 billion
10. The Crown (Netflix), 12.7 billion