‘Suits,’ ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Breaking Bad’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Drove 500 Million Hours on Netflix in 2023

The top shows were clocked from January-June, a new semi-annual viewership report reveals

USA Network

The biggest Netflix show over the last six months may be “The Night Agent” at 812 million hours viewed, but don’t sleep on the streamer’s library titles.

A new semi-annual viewership report released by Netflix on Tuesday revealed that “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Suits” all generated significant viewership numbers for the platform. Each one generated “over 500 million hours of viewing” in just six months from January-June 2023.

“It’s a win for everyone: our members, Netflix and our partners,” Netflix VP of strategy and analysis Lauren Smith told reporters on a call.

Smith went on to emphasize that the semi-annual report is not a perfect metric when it comes to comparisons between titles. The report reflects total hours viewed for over 18,000 titles but does not account for total watch time for each title since they hit Netflix or varying runtimes between seasons. For example, 100,000 hours viewed would mean something different for a 10-episode season of television than a 24-episode season.

Smith highlighted that a more “apples-to-apples comparison” remains Netflix’s weekly Top 10 English and non-English TV and film lists. Those reflect viewership of a title in its first 91 days on Netflix and divide hours viewed by a series’ runtime.

Even with these notes in mind, the metrics around these series are impressive. For example, the most-watched season of the show of the summer “Suits” was its first. That installment clocked in 129 million viewing hours. The rest of the series follows a fairly linear path. The second most-watched season is Season 2 (106 million hours); the third most-watched season is Season 3 (82 million hours); the fourth most-watched season is Season 4 (64 million hours); and so on and so forth.

This pattern is unsurprising considering that “Suits” first landed on Netflix in 2023. As such, it makes sense most viewers would binge watch through the entire series rather than jump from season to season.

Similarly, the pattern around “The Walking Dead” also makes sense, at least initially. The final season of the AMC zombie show, which concluded in 2022, was the most-watched of the drama and accounted for over 136 million hours viewed. It was then followed by Season 10 (72 million hours), Season 3 (71 million hours), Season 2 (67 million hours), Season 4 (62.5 million hours) and Season 5 (62 million hours).

Long-loved favorites “Breaking Bad” and “Grey’s Anatomy” also followed a more random pattern. “Breaking Bad” Season 2 was the most-watched installment of the Vince Gilligan drama, accounting for over 116 million hours during the six month period. That was followed by Season 5 (107 million hours), Season 3 (104 million hours), Season 4 (94 million hours) and finally Season 1 (83 million hours).

The second season of “Grey’s Anatomy” was the series’ most-watched, accounting for 51 million hours viewed. But what “Grey’s” may lack in staggering numbers for a single season, it makes up for in multitude. Its first installment was followed by Season 3 (44 million hours), Season 5 (39 million hours) and Season 6 (38 million hours). Season 19 was last season of the series on Netflix’s list, only accounting for 9 million hours viewed.


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