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The 10 Most-Watched Shows & Movies on Netflix During Social Isolation

tiger king netflix

Tiger King definitely made the list. Netflix

We know that Netflix has unveiled its own Top 10 lists[1] recently to help viewers navigate the endless library of content stored in their digital real estate. But given the streaming platform’s history with transparency and selective ratings promotions, we can’t be completely convinced that those titles are indeed the most popular. You know the old adage I made up for this article: algorithms play tricks on your mind.

SEE ALSO: This New ‘Rick and Morty’ Samurai Short Film Is Bathed in Blood[2]

For another point of reference when searching for Netflix’s most popular offerings, Reelgood[3]—which tracks every TV show and movie available online—has been actively pulling weekly and monthly data on the most-watched TV shows and movies on Netflix from millions of U.S. users. Here’s what they found to be the most-watched shows and movies last week (March 21 to March 27) as the COVID-19 lockdown continues. Note that these lists include both original and licensed content.

Most-Watched TV Shows on Netflix:

  1. Elite
  2. Stranger Things
  3. Money Heist
  4. Sex Education
  5. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
  6. Crash Landing on You
  7. The Walking Dead
  8. I Am Not Okay with This
  9. Kingdom
  10. Breaking Bad

Most-Watched Movies on Netflix:

  1. 3 Idiots
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Avengers: Infinity War
  4. Inception
  5. The Shawshank Redemption
  6. Marriage Story
  7. The Platform
  8. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  9. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  10. Train to Busan

It’s interesting that eight of the ten most-watched TV series on Netflix last week were all originals while just three of the 10 most-watched movies on Netflix were homegrown products. Original films are a strong driver of new subscriptions. Netflix has made immense strides in this area (despite striking out at the Oscars[4] this year), essentially replacing Fox as a major film studio, yet still does not boast the roster of originals to rival its TV business.

What’s also interesting to note is Netflix’s growing international profile: Crash Landing on YouKingdom and The Platform are all South Korean originals. Data reveals that Netflix has been seeing a surge in new sign-ups[5] in overseas areas affected by the coronavirus. More generally speaking, it is believed that while Netflix may have hit its saturation point here in the U.S., its unrivaled investment in international areas over the last several years will keep attracting new subscribers[6].

Hopefully, these lists help alleviate some of the selection paralysis that occurs when logging on to Netflix. At the end of the day, aren’t we all Joe Exotic[7]?

The 10 Most-Watched Shows & Movies on Netflix During Social Isolation


  1. ^ Top 10 lists (
  2. ^ This New ‘Rick and Morty’ Samurai Short Film Is Bathed in Blood (
  3. ^ Reelgood (
  4. ^ striking out at the Oscars (
  5. ^ surge in new sign-ups (
  6. ^ keep attracting new subscribers (
  7. ^ Joe Exotic (

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