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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Dominique Hines

Wednesday beats Stranger Things! The best shows in Netflix’s new Top Ten most viewed

Netflix has revealed that comedy-horror Wednesday has overtaken Stranger Things.

The streaming service has changed the way it reports its viewership figures and rankings on the platform will now be labelled as "views", which is calculated by the number of hours watched divided by the show’s total runtime.

The new metric will determine Netflix’s current Top 10 rankings and its best-of-all-time list, which has been extended from 28 days to 91. These tweaks have resulted in The Addams Family spin-off knocking Stranger Things 4 – the latest season – off its perch as the most popular English-language series on the streamer.

Squid Game remains the most viewed series overall, with other popular non-English language shows including Money Heist, Lupin and Élite.

The announcement of the new metric’s results may have been a surprise to many who thought the Kate Bush-obsessed sci-fi fantasy series was untouchable and reigned supreme – but stranger things have happened.

Here’s a run-down of the new Top Ten English-language series on the streamer showing what really has us glued to our screens.

1. Wednesday – 252.1M

Jenna Ortega says she signed on for Netflix hit show Wednesday ‘with hesitance’ (Netflix/PA) (PA Media)

The coming-of-age supernatural mystery comedy horror, which centres around death-obsessed Wednesday Addams, was an instant hit for the streamer. It spawned a series of viral memes and made an overnight star of Jenna Ortega, who plays the titular role.

Based on the character created in the cartoonist Charles Addams’s original comic strip, which appeared in the New Yorker between 1938 and 1988 (and of course then on TV, film, video games and a musical), the anticipation for the second spooky series has been off the charts.

2. Stranger Things (Season 4) – 140.7M

The first three seasons ruled the top of the viewership list, but the latest season, which showed the Hawkins gang following a compass to Lovers Lake, to find another gate to the Upside Down and contending with the terrifying tentacles monster, failed to keep the Netflix crown.

3. Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story – 115.6M

Evan Peters as Dahmer (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)

The story about the life of late serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, played by Evan Peters, stays in third place. The harrowing 2022 show, which showed the Dahmer’s spate of horrific murders between 1978–1991, has joined, Wednesday, Stranger Things Season 4 and dystopian Korean series, Squid Games in surpassing the billion-hour mark in viewing time.

4. Bridgerton (Season 1) – 113.3M

Rege-Jean Page as Duke of Hastings and Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)

The Regency romance was released on December 25, 2020, and became an instant Christmas hit. Based on Julia Quinn’s series of romance novels, the swoony first season centres around aristocrat Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor, the titular Bridgerton family’s eldest daughter as she makes her debut as a debutante in Regency London’s competitive marriage market.

She ends up having a steamy secret romance with the dashing Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) – a committed bachelor with no interest in marriage.

The pair’s incredible onscreen chemistry and the intensity of their love-hate relationship, which ends in a fairytale marriage, swept viewers off their feet.

5. The Queen’s Gambit – 112.8M

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen’s Gambit (CHARLIE GRAY/NETFLIX)

The 2020 hit followed Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) an orphaned American chess prodigy on her journey to becoming the greatest chess player in the world while struggling with drug and alcohol dependency.

The series, which was set in the mid-1950s and 1960s, resonated with millions who assumed it was a true story, when it was in fact based on Walter Tevis’ fictional 1983 novel The Queen’s Gambit.

6. The Night Agent (Season 1) – 98.2M

This series brought back the vibe of Kiefer Sutherland’s iconic series 24. While monitoring an emergency line, an FBI agent answers a call that lands him into a deadly conspiracy involving moles at the White House.

We see agent Peter Sutherland (Gabriel Basso) as the hero managing to survive a string of improbable shoot-outs, car-chasing scenes and, of course, bullets. While the plot is far from groundbreaking – the heart-racing non-stop action made it ridiculously binge-worthy.

7. Stranger Things (Season 3) – 94M

(L to R) Eduardo Franco as Argyle, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, and Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers (Courtesy of Netflix)

This season focuses on Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) experiencing premonitions from the Upside Down, despite Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) closing of the  gate that led to its horror.

He believes the Mind Flayer is still alive and back in Hawkins. Danger eventually looms when the town’s threatened by enemies old and new and Eleven and her friends are back on a mission to end it.

8. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 93.8M

Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey (LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)

Lacking some of the magic of its predecessor, the season follows Anthony, Lord Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) as he sets out to find a suitable wife. Identifying the beautiful diamond of the season, Edwina Sharma, as an appropriate match, he pursues her, but things inevitably get messy when it becomes painfully clear that he has developed intense feelings for her feisty elder sister, Kate (Simone Ashley).

9. The Witcher (Season 1) – 83M

Henry Cavill in The Witcher (PA Media)

The series, based originally on a series of novels and short stories by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, which also exist as a videogame series, gripped viewers as it followed the lives of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), the Princess Ciri (Freya Allan), and the sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), prior to the battle for Sodden Hill.

10. The Watcher (Season 1) – 79.6M

Based on a true story,  the mysterious drama follows the Brannock family as they move into their dream home in the suburbs, only to receive an anonymous threatening letter.

What follows is a series of bizarre events, including their pet ferret being killed by a home invader, and strange neighbours making subtle threats.

After hiring a private detective, the family is put in touch with one of the previous homeowners, who reveals he’s still shaken by what he endured at the house...

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