Flixpatrol, a company that tracks the standings of various films and television shows on Netflix’s top 10 chart in various countries has compiled what the most popular shows have been on the streaming service this year. While this isn’t officially what the most-watched shows on Netflix have been, since Netflix is notoriously cagey about their ratings and audience habits, it is a curious look at what was popular around the world in 2020.
Considering its popularity online and rave reviews from critics, it’s no wonder that the number one show worldwide is The Queen’s Gambit. Anya Taylor-Joy’s Netflix original miniseries about chess prodigy Beth Harmon has been called one of the best shows of the year, and hasn’t waned in popularity since its premiere. The show was the second most-watched show in the United States and the United Kingdom, while it was the most-watched in both Australia and Canada.
The second most popular show worldwide is Emily in Paris, the romantic-comedy series starring Lily Collins. The show quickly picked up a second season renewal, even though the show didn’t appear in the top ten most-watched shows in the United States, the United Kingdom, or Canada. Rounding up the top five was Lucifer at #3, which Netflix revived after three seasons on Fox, the superhero show The Umbrella Academy at #4, and the Spanish-language series Money Heist at #5.
Most of the top 20 series are Netflix originals, considering those series don’t have different distribution rights for various countries. Yet the Chicago Bulls documentary series The Last Dance, which premiered on ESPN, placed at #13 worldwide, while the TNT series Snowpiercer made the list at #14. Earlier this year, Netflix acquired Cobra Kai from YouTube Red, and the purchase has paid off, considering the show is at #18.
However, the top show on Netflix in 2020 didn’t make the top 20 at all. Cocomelon is currently the most-viewed YouTube channel in the United States, and with the brand releasing their material on Netflix in 2020, the series became the most-watched show in the United States. The Office also came in at #3, but considering the show will soon be moving to Peacock, this will be the last time the Dunder Mifflin gang will be represented on this list. Avatar: The Last Airbender also placed at #7, despite not being an original on the streaming service.
In fact, the United States has quite a few shows in their top 10 most-watched that didn’t make the global top 20. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness became a huge hit in the early days of the pandemic, which helped it hit #4 in the United States. Jason Bateman’s series Ozark hit #5, even though it wasn’t represented on any other country’s list. Netflix’s revival of Unsolved Mysteries landed at #9 in the United States and the United Kingdom’s lists, and #7 in Canada, but couldn’t break the worldwide top 20.
While this isn’t necessarily an indication of the actual most-watched shows on Netflix through various countries, it is an interesting look at what shows are popular throughout the world. Who would have thought that the most-watched shows in 2020 on Netflix would come from a preschool YouTube channel and a chess prodigy?