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Netflix's New Data Confirms What We Suspected All Along About Bridgerton

Historically speaking, streaming giant Netflix has been guarded about releasing its viewership numbers. In a surprising turn of events, the streamer is now opening up about this information. Recently, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos gave a presentation at Vox Media's Code Conference that revealed the most popular Netflix shows and how much viewing time (in hours) subscribers have spent on a particular show (via Variety). 

To go a little deeper, the most popular shows were determined by how many viewers watched a title for at least two minutes in the first 28 days of its release and how many total hours subscribers spent watching said title over the same period (before now, the latter data set has never been released). Variety's report includes tables of data from the conference broken up into these two categories, and the numbers reveal what kind of content Netflix's subscription base truly craves. On the film side, it seems the 2020 actioner "Extraction" scored big with viewers; a reported 99 million accounts tuned in to watch the movie. However, in terms of total hours viewed, Sandra Bullock's sci-fi creeper "Bird Box" took the top spot with a staggering 282 million hours.

As for the TV rankings, Netflix viewers will hardly be surprised to see titles like "Stranger Things," "Money Heist," "The Queen's Gambit," and "The Witcher" in the mix as they're among the streamer's shows with the highest engagement. However, one title appeared at the top of both lists presented by Sarandos, boasting data that confirmed the series is a monumental hit for the streamer.

Bridgerton was a genuine smash hit for Netflix

The romantic period drama "Bridgerton" was at the top of Netflix's lists for the number of accounts who checked out the title and the number of hours a TV show was viewed. In fact, based on the information Sarandos presented, "Bridgerton" was a monumental hit upon release. Per the data, it holds the title of the most-viewed original series released on Netflix in recent memory. The Shondaland show claimed the top spot with 82 million accounts reportedly watching and racking up approximately 625 million hours in its first 28 days of release. 

If you're at all familiar with "Bridgerton," you're probably not surprised it is atop both viewership lists for the TV category. Adapted from the Julia Quinn book series of the same name, "Bridgerton" Season 1 is a sexy tale of high society shenanigans in Regency-era England. The season boasts tons of addictive melodrama, making its first eight hour-long episodes easy to binge. This, plus the acclaim it earned with a whopping 12 Emmy nominations (via the Emmys official site), has made "Bridgerton" a surprise favorite.

Even though "Bridgerton" is hailed as the king of the Netflix originals, its reign may not last for much longer. Per Variety's report, Sarandos offered that the streamer's just-released Korean survival drama "Squid Game" could be Netflix's biggest show of all time. The development has surprised Sarandos, who said of its success, "We did not see that coming."