What was the most streamed series in the US in 2021? (Hint, it's not 'Squid Game') | Inquirer Entertainment
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What was the most streamed series in the US in 2021? (Hint, it’s not ‘Squid Game’)

/ 03:37 PM January 26, 2022
Squid Game ETX

“Squid Game” was the second-most watched streaming series in the US in 2021. Image: ETX Daily Up/Netflix

Nope, “Squid Game” was not the most watched streaming series in the United States in 2021—at least that’s what a Nielsen study indicates. The South Korean series was beaten by American series “Lucifer.” We take a closer look at this particular ranking.

“Lucifer” takes the top spot among the most-watched original programs on streaming, Nielsen revealed in its study. The fantasy series about the fallen angel racked up more than 18.3 billion minutes watched in 2021, ahead of “Squid Game” with its 16.4 billion views and the cooking show “The Great British Baking Show” with 13.6 billion minutes watched.

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The success of “Lucifer” is due in particular to its 93 available episodes. According to the study, the series attracted more of a female audience and appealed equally to the 18-34, 35-49 and 50-64 demographics, just as the “The Great British Baking Show” did. The sixth and final season of Lucifer Morningstar’s adventures launched on Sept. 10, 2021, on Netflix.

Released a week later on the same streaming platform, “Squid Game” still tallied more than 16.4 billion minutes watched, and that’s with just nine episodes. The drama series drew younger viewers compared to the streaming service’s average. Thirty-seven percent of its viewers were between 18 and 34 years old.

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Of the 15 most-watched series according to Nielsen, only Hulu, Apple TV+ and Disney+ stand out against Netflix. “The Handmaid’s Tale” takes tenth spot, “Ted Lasso” is in 12th place and “WandaVision” came in 14th place. The series, spun off from the Marvel universe, was also the most pirated in 2021.

As for the old programs on streaming platforms, “Criminal Minds” is the leader with 33.8 billion minutes watched thanks to its 322 available episodes. “Bones” as well as “Seinfeld” make a breakthrough at the 13th and 14th place, respectively.

Note, however, that the Nielsen study only counted minutes watched on TV and not on a smartphone. Only the streaming platforms Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Prime Video and Apple TV+ were analyzed, leaving out series like “Friends” on HBO Max.

Top 15 original streaming shows in 2021

  1. “Lucifer” – 93 episodes – 18.342 views, in billion minutes watched
  2. “Squid Game” – 9 episodes – 16.432
  3. “The Great British Baking Show” – 75 episodes – 13.636
  4. “Virgin River” – 30 episodes – 12.908
  5. “Bridgerton” – 8 episodes – 12.356
  6. “You” – 30 episodes – 11.124
  7. “Cobra Kai” – 30 episodes – 10.915
  8. “The Crown” – 40 episodes – 9.651
  9. “Longmire” – 63 episodes – 8.892
  10. “The Handmaid’s Tale” – 46 episodes – 8.564
  11. “Outer Banks” – 20 episodes – 8.301
  12. “Ted Lasso” – 22 episodes – 8.161
  13. “Maid” – 10 episodes – 8.103
  14. “WandaVision” – 9 episodes – 7.284
  15. “The Witcher” – 16 episodes – 7.067

Top 15 streaming shows re-released in 2021

  1. “Criminal Minds” – 322 episodes – 33.865
  2. “Cocomelon” – 15 episodes – 33.278
  3. “Grey’s Anatomy” – 382 episodes – 32.625
  4. “NCIS” – 354 episodes – 29.529
  5. “Heartland” – 215 episodes – 20.410
  6. “Manifest” – 42 episodes -19.923
  7. “Supernatural” – 329 episodes – 18.912
  8. “Schitt’s Creek” – 80 episodes – 18.062
  9. “Gilmore Girls” – 153 episodes -14.704
  10. “New Girl” – 146 episodes – 14.680
  11. “Shameless” – 134 episodes – 14.406
  12. “The Blacklist” – 169 episodes – 12.137
  13. “Bones” – 246 episodes – 11.012
  14. “Seinfeld” – 166 episodes – 10.447
  15. “The Walking Dead” – 153 episodes – 10.377

*The Nielsen study counted views after two minutes of watching the program. DC

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TAGS: Bridgerton, Lucifer, Squid Game, The Crown, WandaVision
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