Every year, Netflix celebrates its massive subscriber base getting even more massive, which means many millions of people have experienced their first online binge-watch in recent years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the shows that first-time bingers are targeting are among television's most popular, and tons of people are flocking to the same core group of hit series. More surprisingly, though, is that Netflix originals account for fewer than half of the entries.
Known for keeping viewership info under deep cover, the streaming giant recently released a new study noting the top ten shows that new binge-watchers (from the past five years or so) have jumped into first after joining Netflix. 90% of subscribers have experienced such a first binge in the first year -- most take just three days, too -- so even without hard stats, these numbers are extremely interesting. Let's kick things off with some hospital drama.
As one of network TV's most dependable dramas, Grey's Anatomy has remained appointment viewing for a big percentage of the primetime audience, and Netflix is definitely part of the reason for that extended popularity. For anyone who missed out on Grey's Anatomy's early seasons the first time around and never funded DVD purchases, Netflix has been the perfect way for Meredith, Bailey, Christina and the rest to reach new fans at any given time of the year. And with the flagship series prompting more spinoffs on top of its own future seasons, Grey's will likely remain as big a hit for Netflix as it is for ABC.
Now in its 16th season, Family Guy is in the upper echelon when it comes to long-lasting TV comedies, which means Netflix subscribers have had access to hundreds of cutaway-filled episodes for all the binge-watching fun that one could possibly stand, both in the Fox comedy's pre- and post-cancellation runs. And because it's is the perfect kind of non-serialized and joke-filled show to throw on at any point of the day while doing literally anything -- at least for anyone who doesn't mind offensive jokes or Conway Twitty performances -- Family Guy is always ripe to be the source of someone's first Netflix marathon.
Nobody does TV horror quite like Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, whose American Horror Story anthology series has turned in a bonanza of strange and depraved moments. And those are just the kind of bonkers moments that Netflix subscribers eat up seasons like Roanoke's Polk family eats up...other things. Binge-watching American Horror Story can arguably be an even more enjoyable way to take in the supernatural thrills and chills, since cliffhangers can be solved quicker, while each season's less important episodes won't feel like such a time-suck. Plus, one can experience Bloody Face, the Minotaur and Papa Legba all in the same weekend, if one is so dedicated.