Netflix introduced its own daily top 10 rankings this year. Here are the shows that ruled the lists.
- In February, Netflix introduced its own daily top 10 rankings of its most popular titles on the service.
- The streaming search engine Reelgood provided Business Insider a list of the year's most popular TV shows on Netflix, based on these lists.
- Reelgood used a points system to determine the top shows, from "The Queen's Gambit" to "The Umbrella Academy."
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Netflix introduced its own daily top 10 rankings of its most popular titles in February. The move further peeled the curtain back on Netflix viewership and helped highlight Netflix's original titles.
Netflix counts a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a TV show or movie, a metric that moreso measures interest in a specific title than how long a viewer is spending with it. The daily lists are based on the previous 24 hours.
Reelgood, a streaming search engine, provided Business Insider a list of the top 10 TV shows on Netflix in 2020, based on Netflix's daily rankings. Reelgood used a points system to determine the list. Every time a show ranked No. 1 on Netflix daily lists, it got 10 points. A show got nine points for every time it placed No. 2, eight points for No. 3, and so on.
The resulting list is dominated by Netflix originals (though two of the shows, "Cocomelon" and "Cobra Kai," originated on YouTube). Just one show ("The Office") in the top 10 is a licensed title. "The Office" is leaving Netflix at the end of December, though, for NBCUniversal's new streaming service Peacock.
From "The Queen's Gambit" to "The Umbrella Academy" to "Cobra Kai," below are the most popular TV shows on Netflix this year from February 27 to December 9.
10. "Love Is Blind" (Netflix original, 2020-present)
Description: "Nick and Vanessa Lachey host this social experiment where single men and women look for love and get engaged, all before meeting in person."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 70%
What critics said: "For fans of the genre, it's a delicious romp with just enough twists to keep you guessing, just enough familiarity to keep you entertained." — Slate (season one)
9. "Cobra Kai" (Netflix original, 2018-present)
Description: "Decades after the tournament that changed their lives, the rivalry between Johnny and Daniel reignites in this sequel to the 'Karate Kid' films."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%
What critics said: "The series remains entertaining despite its flaws, and fortunately it has a hero that negotiates this disconnect between retro mindset and contemporary consciousness." — Indiewire (season two)
8. "Unsolved Mysteries" (Netflix original, 2020-present)
Description: "Real cases of perplexing disappearances, shocking murders and paranormal encounters fuel this gripping revival of the iconic documentary series."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 77%
What critics said: "These reports are wild but have evidence to back them up, which makes them even more entrancing — especially as they are set against the background of Japanese culture and the way it honors those who have passed." — Mashable (season two)
7. "The Umbrella Academy" (Netflix original, 2019-present)
Description: "Reunited by their father's death, estranged siblings with extraordinary powers uncover shocking family secrets — and a looming threat to humanity."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 82%
What critics said: "The twists tantalize just enough that you can't help but let the next episode auto-play." — Vanity Fair (season two)
6. "Outer Banks" (Netflix original, 2020-present)
Description: "On an island of haves and have-nots, teen John B enlists his three best friends to hunt for a legendary treasure linked to his father's disappearance."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 71%
What critics said: "Any dramatic shortcomings will be overlooked by those attracted to the show's basic premise: young people living unsupervised, on the margins of society, but who still get to behave like they have a team of lawyers on retainer." — Wall Street Journal (season one)
5. "Ozark" (Netflix original, 2017-present)
Description: "A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 81%
What critics said: "Season three is the best season of the series so far. The story line arc works pretty well, with seeds planted early on that bloom in the later episodes." — Boston Globe (season three)
4. "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" (Netflix original, 2020)
Description: "A zoo owner spirals out of control amid a cast of eccentric characters in this true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 86%
What critics said: "Tiger King is Netflix comfort food of the highest order: it immerses viewers in a mind-boggling lifestyle and series of scandals, and yet the term 'true-crime' doesn't do justice to its greatness." — RogerEbert.com
3. "The Queen's Gambit" (Netflix original, 2020)
Description: "In a 1950s orphanage, a young girl reveals an astonishing talent for chess and begins an unlikely journey to stardom while grappling with addiction."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 99%
What critics said: "The budding star at the center of Scott Frank's new Netflix series has a rare magnetism, the kind that can sell even the most esoteric of subjects." — The Ringer
2. "The Office" (NBC, 2005-2013)
Description: "This hit comedy chronicles the foibles of disgruntled office workers — led by deluded boss Michael Scott — at the Dunder Mifflin paper company."
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 81%
What critics said: "Even though its later seasons never lived up to its groundbreaking early explorations of contemporary work culture, what The Office leaves us with are memories of television comedy at its best." — The Atlantic (season nine)
1. "Cocomelon" (Netflix original, 2020-present)
Description: "Learn letters, numbers, animal sounds and more with J.J. in this musical series that brings fun times with nursery rhymes for the whole family!"
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A
What critics said: N/A
Reelgood also ranked the top shows by how often they appeared on Netflix's daily rankings.
It's similar to the points-based list but with some new additions, including "Schitt's Creek" and "Avatar: The Last Airbender."
The former swept this year's Emmys comedy categories. The cocreator and star Eugene Levy thanked Netflix after it won for best comedy. The streaming giant was essential in expanding the show's audience, giving it the "Netflix bump."
Here's the list as of December 9, including how many times the show appeared on Netflix's rankings:
1. "The Office" (178 times)
2. "Cocomelon" (104 times)
3. "Ozark" (57 times)
4. "Schitt's Creek" (55 times)
5. Avatar: The Last Airbender" (54 times)
6. "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" (50 times)
7. "The Queens' Gambit" (47 times)
8. "Outer Banks" (45 times)
10 (tie). "The Umbrella Academy" (43 times)
10 (tie). "Unsolved Mysteries" (43 times)
Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.
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