Netflix Originals caught fire in October, following two months of declines in both casual and binge-watching audiences. While overall Netflix streaming during October increased over September, Netflix Originals’ audience grew at a rate that was 4x the overall rate. There was one thing that carried over from last month, sitcoms and cartoons continue to dominate the top ten most-watched list for the fourth consecutive month.

Sitcoms reign supreme in October: Top 10 shows binged and watched on Netflix

We analyzed US consumers’ streaming behavior on Netflix, the leading subscription video on demand (SVoD) platform, in October to identify the top ten shows and month-over-month viewership trends. As always, we focused our analysis on two distinct behavioral cohorts: ‘Binge watchers’, who watch at least five episodes of a show a day, and ‘casual viewers’, who stream at minimum of 20 minutes of a show in a day.

During October, overall binge-watching and casual viewing on Netflix increased by 2 and 8 percent MoM. This increased streaming activity is mostly due to Family Guy’s 14th season, which was released in the end of September. Family Guy has been the most popular show for binge-watching for 5 months straight, and the most-watched show on the streaming platform since July.   

in October, Family Guy’s casual viewer-base increased by a third MoM and the show’s binge-watching audience grew by 28 percent, accounting for just under a quarter of the binge watchers of the top ten shows on the streaming platform.

Two Netflix Originals made the most-watched list: Marvel’s Luke Cage took third place for casual viewership with 10 percent of the top ten most-watched audience, and The Ranch came in last with 6 percent of the top ten show viewers. Both shows made the list following season releases, reinforcing the audience surge trend following a season release we first identified in February.

What else has changed since last month? Narcos and Parks and Recreation fell from the top ten most-watched list, while the top ten binged list was merely rearranged.

Top 10 Binged Shows Top 10 Watched Shows
# Title % of Top 10 Title % of Top 10
1 Family Guy 24% Family Guy 21%
2 The Office 11% The Office 13%
3 American Dad! 11% Marvel’s Luke Cage 10%
4 Futurama 10% Friends 10%
5 Friends 10% Futurama 9%
6 Bob’s Burgers 9% American Dad! 8%
7 How I Met Your Mother 7% New Girl 8%
8 New Girl 7% Bob’s Burgers 8%
9 Parks and Recreation 5% How I Met Your Mother 6%
10 That ‘70s Show 5% The Ranch 6%

Notable mention goes out to The Office, the runner-up for casual viewership for four consecutive months.

Netflix Originals bounce back in October: Top ten shows binged and watched

After two months of audience cuts, Netflix’s original programs saw a substantial increase in popularity, attracted 33 percent more viewers and 9 percent more binge watchers in October than in September. These audience increases result from new original programs or new season releases, which attracted 68 percent of the Netflix Original top ten viewers and 40 percent of the top ten binge watchers in October.

Two Netflix Originals stood out among the recently released original programs: The Ranch and Marvel’s Luke Cage. The Ranch debuted on the SVoD platform on October 7th and instantly brought in a quarter of October’s top ten binge watchers and 21 percent of the casual viewers. The first season of Marvel’s Luke Cage, which was released on the last day of September, accounted for a whooping 35 percent of the most-watched audience in October.

Marvel’s Luke Cage made the top ten most-watched Netflix Originals list in September after the show attracted 5 percent of the audience in merely 24 hours. Throughout October, the show continued to gain popularity and grew its casual viewer-base tenfold, becoming the most-watched Netflix Original.

The last Netflix Original to substantially increase the platform’s original programming viewer-base was Orange is the New Black, which brought in 40 percent of the top ten viewers in July following its 4th season release on June 17th. Season 4 of Orange is the New Black grew Netflix Originals’ casual viewer-base by 23 percent between May and June, and by an additional 18 percent between June and July.

As for the rest, Kuromukuro, Project Mc² and Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park: Europe, all made the top ten binged list thanks to October releases, while Kulipari: An Army of Frogs, Easy, Grace and Frankie, and Dragons: Race to the Edge fell off the list. Black Mirror and Haters Back Off made the top ten Netflix Originals list following their October season releases, while Stranger Things, Easy, and Orange is the New Black lost their top-of-mind status.

Top 10 Binged Shows Top 10 Watched Shows
# Title % of Top 10 Title % of Top 10
1 The Ranch 25% Marvel’s Luke Cage 35%
2 Trailer Park Boys 17% The Ranch 21%
3 Arrested Development 12% Black Mirror 6%
4 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 11% Trailer Park Boys 6%
5 BoJack Horseman 10% Haters Back Off 6%
6 Kuromukuro 8% Longmire 6%
7 The Seven Deadly Sins 7% Arrested Development 5%
8 Project Mc² 4% BoJack Horseman 5%
9 Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park: Europe 4% Narcos 5%
10 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 3% Star Wars: The Clone Wars 5%

Bottom Line: This month we saw how quickly Netflix Original programming can find a huge audience, but we have also seen how quickly that audience drops off after the early surge. Even late-in-month releases can find a large enough audience to swamp other programs’ viewership and propel themselves into our top ten lists. We also saw how two months of declines in viewership can turn positive, driven by exciting new content. We will continue to analyze Americans’ Netflix streaming behavior and see how these trends play out, so stay tuned.