For The First Time In Weeks, Stranger Things Isn't The Most Popular TV Show On Netflix

Although Squid Game’s first season has been the reigning Most Watched TV Show champion on Netflix, having become a global phenomenon in the weeks after its release, its biggest competition to date has been the obsessively discussed horror hit Stranger Things. The first batch of Season 4 episodes quickly took over the streaming service’s daily Top 10 list upon the May 27 premiere, and the show remained in that top spot ever since. At least, until now, as Stranger Things was pushed out of the #1 slot for the first time by another group of oddballs who developed strange powers in their youths. 

Before Stranger Things could pull off a full month atop Netflix’s Top 10 TV Shows list, the streaming service dropped another highly anticipated series onto eager fans. As such, The Umbrella Academy Season 3 officially took over as the current most popular series on the platform on Thursday, June 23, one day after it premiered all ten apocalypse-thwarting episodes. Looks like the Wheelers and Byers families have nothing on the Hargreeves siblings, amirite? (Although that said, Priah Ferguson’s Erica Sinclair would definitely be formidable enough to pose a threat.)

At this time, Netflix has yet to unveil actual viewership stats for The Umbrella Academy’s third season, but one can imagine its first weekly total will be pretty massive. Honestly, I don’t see it coming close to topping the record-setting early numbers that Stranger Things Season 4 put out, since that was a relatively rare occurrence bolstered by the throwback thriller’s episodes exceeding traditional runtimes for “hour-long” series.  

Klaus celebrating in bunk bed on The Umbrella Academy

(Image credit: Netflix)

But I’m certain the timeline-jumping, alt-universe-destroying heroes within The Umbrella Academy were watched for over 100 million hours, since Stranger Things’ latest weekly total topped off at 106 million (for the week of June 13-19). Given the pretty solid word-of-mouth so far, along with the mostly positive critical reactions, I don’t see the new season’s audience facing any nosedives in the near future. Nobody can truly deny the power of a “Footloose” dance-along and Stephen King easter eggs, after all.

Notably, the current Top 10 list doesn’t feature either of The Umbrella Academy’s first two seasons, while all three of Stranger Things’ prior seasons re-entered both the daily and weekly Top 10 lists as fans rewatched to catch up ahead of the new episodes. (Beyond just rewatching in general, of course.) That indicates that the hunger for more Umbrella-related comic book chaos wasn’t quite as strong as the need for more Upside-Down horrors in the minds of Netflix subscribers.

It’s likely that The Umbrella Academy will hold onto that top slot for the majority of the time between Season 3’s arrival and the impending premiere of Stranger Things’ final two Season 4 episodes, which will hopefully answer all of our biggest questions during their super-extended runtimes. Considering Netflix hasn’t specifically marked the first seven episodes as Part 1 within its overarching Top 10 tallies, it can be assumed that the platform will count the remaining two installments in with the rest of Season 4, giving the show that much more of a shot at topping Squid Game once and for all. Or, at least until Squid Game’s upcoming second season rules the world of streaming next year. 

For now, though, be sure to watch the bumbling heroes of The Umbrella Academy attempting to survive a kugelblitz (among other things), as all three seasons are currently available to stream on Netflix. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.