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With Netflix now being such a dominant force in streaming around the entire world, it's not so shocking to hear how extremely popular non-English productions have been, such as Germany's Dark, Spain's Money Heist and India's Bard of Blood. But it IS fairly surprising to learn that one of Netflix's most lavish and painstakingly crafted productions, the UK-produced drama The Crown, isn't among the most popular streaming programs – either overall or TV-specific – in the UK.
To mark the end of 2019, Netflix has released some fairly detail-lite info about how well its original programming is doing around the world, noting the most popular streaming content in Japan and France, among other countries. While many might have predicted that the list of most-watched UK shows would include the heavily discussed regal drama The Crown, which introduced Olivia Colman and the rest of its newest cast cycle for Season 3, the Peter Morgan-created series apparently did not make the cut.
Despite the overall lack of The Crown, take a look at the rundown of most-watched TV series released by Netflix in the UK for some unique insights.
The Umbrella Academy
Now, because Netflix doesn't offer up any nitty-gritty when it comes to its streaming viewership data, it's hard to know just how popular any one of these shows is in comparison to the others. Clearly, the more heavily promoted blockbuster-esque releases like Stranger Things and The Witcher made it to the top ten, which was to be predicted. It also makes a bit of sense that the most popular comedies would be Ricky Gervais' After Life and Gillian Anderson's Sex Education, and Black Mirror's placement also doesn't inspire batted eyelashes.
However, I might not have immediately guessed that Netflix subscribers in the UK would also bypass The Crown for true crime projects such as Unbelievable, which also blew away U.S. viewers, or Dirty John, which premiered on Bravo here in the States but was a Netflix release internationally. And the fact that Ronan Bennett's crime drama Top Boy hasn't gone mainstream in the U.S. makes it stand out here as well, though there's no questioning its popularity across the pond.
Anyone wanting an explanation for The Crown's absence from this list, and the one below, might think that the November debut for Season 3 would have affected its placement. However, Henry Cavill's The Witcher is sitting pretty on both lists, despite having just released on the Friday before Christmas. (Deadline did note that Netflix's lists were somewhat informed by "viewing predictions" for December releases. That said, The Witcher has been hugely popular since its premiere, so that particular prediction likely panned out well.
Below, you can find the ten most popular Netflix original programs overall.
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To be sure, The Crown also didn't factor into the most popular shows in France, Japan, India, Germany or Australia. (The jury is still out on how it fared in the U.S.) Does it all come down to Americans having a deeper obsession with UK royalty than those who are closest to the subject matter? Have UK audiences lived with crown-and-castle stories for so long that even a highly polished and well-cast series such as Netflix's The Crown can't win over the majority of audiences?
Until Netflix starts releasing numbers with a lot more introspective details thrown in there, we might never know. What we can confirm, however, is that it made our cut of the Best Netflix Originals of 2019, and that Season 3 is set for some potential awards glorification at the 2020 Golden Globes, airing on January 5. Season 4 is also definitely on the way, too, with the aforementioned Gillian Anderson along for the ride. The decades-spanning drama could potentially go all the way to six seasons, assuming Netflix doesn't balk and cancel it after four, of course.
All three seasons of The Crown are currently streaming on Netflix.