It has been a big summer for streaming TV shows, and last week might have been the biggest yet. With several new seasons of binge-worthy favorites in everybody's queue, Netflix dropped a batch of new content as well, stirring up an already hectic industry. The results may surprise you.
These days, classic TV ratings count for little against the massive influence of streaming services, where more and more people get their entertainment. This is often harder to track than Nielsen ratings, however, as different streaming services release different amounts of data.
Thankfully, there is another new advent helping to fill in those gaps: social media. Now more than ever, viewers are simply self-reporting on their viewing habits as they flood to Facebook, Twitter and other forums to discuss their favorite shows. This is good news for armchair industry-watchers and, to some extent, the advertisers and executives as well.
Taking it one step further, new services gamify TV viewing and binge-watching, encouraging users to track their habits and compare them with others, similar to music apps like Last.FM or reading apps like GoodReads. Last week, TV Time published "The Binge Report," boiling down the streaming habits of millions of users to determine the "Most Binged" shows of the week.
Here's a look at the top 10 most binge-watched shows among TV Time users.
Even in the off-season, beloved ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy found its way onto the most-binged list. This could represent busy fans catching up on episodes they missed during the 2018-2019 season, or simply re-watchers finding comfort in a favorite.
If nothing else, it makes sense to see Grey's Anatomy here because of the wide array of apps it is available on. Streaming viewers can watch the show on Netflix, Hulu or ABC's own streaming app in select parts of the country. They can also rent or purchase the show by the season or the episode on services like Amazon Video, YouTube, iTunes and more.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back with a vengeance after a near fatal cancellation last season. The show was dropped by Fox but picked up by NBC, where it fit nicely with other shows by co-creator Michael Schur.
The cop comedy had a shortened sixth season on its new home this year, but it will be back to a full order in the fall. Perhaps with less episodes to choose from, fans are simply re-watching what they have in the meantime.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is available on Hulu and on NBC's streaming app. It can also be digitally rented or purchased on select sites.
The eighth-most-binged show of the week was actually an actively airing series. The 100 is a part of The CW's summer line-up, and is nearly finished with its sixth season. With just one week left, binge-watchers might have been catching up, brushing up or simply too excited to watch anything else.
The 100 is available to stream on Netflix and The CW's streaming app, and can be rented or purchased in some digital stores. The Season 6 finale airs on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
Maybe it should not surprise us that one of the biggest, most-popular and longest-running sitcoms on network TV this decade has become a binge-watching favorite just months after its finale aired. The Big Bang Theory wrapped up its twelfth and final season in May, and now fans are combing back through the best of times with the gang.
The Big Bang Theory is available to stream on CBS All Access and the TBS streaming app. It can also be rented or purchased digitally by the episode or the season.
Another recent network hit sits comfortably on the list — Fox's Glee. The series ended after six season back in 2015, yet it still strikes a chord with viewers to this day.
Glee can be watched with a Netflix subscription, and is available for purchase or rental on most digital stores.
Of course, it is no surprise to see Friends right in the center of the list, leading the pack of sitcoms and comfort-watches. The classic ensemble comedy is a staple for re-watchers, so much so that Netflix paid out a massive licensing fee just to keep it for one more year before it migrates over to Warner Media's new app, HBO Max.
Right now, Friends can be watched with a Netflix subscription, or on most digital stores. To many fans' horror, the show will be leaving Netflix at the end of this year, but will be a huge draw for the new service, HBO Max. For those that do not want to purchase a whole new app just for one show, there is a strong case to be made for the Friends DVD set, ensuring you'll never have to leave Central Perk again.
After one of the most winding journeys in recent TV memory, Lucifer is coming to a close with its upcoming fifth season. In the meantime, it is enjoying its time near the top of the entertainment food chain as the fourth most-binge-watched show of last week.
Lucifer — a fantasy-drama-horror-comedy based on the comic book work of Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg — began as a network show on Fox. It had a hard time finding its audience, and was ultimately canceled due to repeated bad ratings, in spite of its critical acclaim.
Netflix stepped in to save the show last year, ordering a 10-episode season released back in May. All four existing seasons are available on the app now, and a fifth and final season is in the works. That order has been extended to 16 episodes.
Lucifer can also be rented or purchased by episode or by season on many digital stores.
Here, it is hard to be surprised, as Netflix's heavy-hitting original content begins to take center stage. That includes Stranger Things, which dropped its third season just this month. With eight brand new episodes to watch and re-watch, as well as 17 previous ones to comb through for clues and foreshadowing, we can expect this series to hold its ground on the list for quite some time.
Stranger Things is available to stream only on Netflix, though the company has released DVD copies of the first two seasons for collectors and non-subscribers.
Even more recently than Stranger Things, Netflix dropped a brand new seasons of another beloved original series: Orange is the New Black. The prison comedy was back for its seventh and final season last week, so it is not exactly a surprise to see it near the top of the list.
We can marvel, however, at the fact that OITNB found itself in the runner-up spot despite dropping so late in the polling period. This "Binge Report" accounts for the period between Monday, July 22 and Sunday, July 28, yet Orange is the New Black Season 7 was just released on Friday, July 26, giving it only two days to race ahead of all the shows listed above.
Of course, there were likely fans re-watching older season in preparation for the new release throughout the week, but that does not take away from the accomplishment. Orange is the New Black is available with a Netflix subscription, or on most digital stores for purchase or rental.
Finally, yet another new release is sitting pretty at the top of last week's most-binged list. Money Heist — also known as La casa de papel in Spanish — dropped its second season on Friday, July 19, and it has remained the talk of the town ever since.
Fans have been awaiting a new installment since the fall of 2017, when the first season aired, and now it is finally here. The show has a huge international appeal, and many are already clamoring for more. Thankfully, another season is in production as we speak.
Money Heist is available only on Netflix.
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