Netflix's latest viewing figures have an unexpected show hitting top spot

The top 10 most watched shows on Netflix are mostly surprising

The Night Agent
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix hasn't traditionally been open about its viewing figures in the past but things are a-changin'.

Perhaps fuelled by one of the demands of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the streaming service has released a list of its most watched TV shows and films for the first half of 2023. And, we have to say, a lot of it is surprising.

Perhaps the most surprising of all is that spy drama The Night Agent was by far and away the most viewed show on the platform. It was streamed by Netflix users for more than 812 million hours – its closest rival was season 2 of Ginny & Georgia, which hit just over 665 million hours.

Now The Night Agent is decent, with a 78% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's hardly The Crown or another of Netflix's traditional big hitters. However, as the list only covers the period ending June 2023, it doesn't contain some of the more recent releases, like Squid Game: The Challenge.

It makes for interesting reading though, and has plenty of recommendations for those looking for a series to binge.

Netflix's top 10 shows and movies January – June 2023 (by hours viewed)

  1. The Night Agent: Season 1 – 812.1 million
  2. Ginny & Georgia: Season 2 – 665.1 million
  3. The Glory: Season 1 – 622.8 million
  4. Wednesday: Season 1 – 507.7 million
  5. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story – 503 million
  6. You: Season 4 – 440.6 million
  7. La Reina del Sur: Season 3 – 429.6 million
  8. Outer Banks: Season 3 – 402.5 million
  9. Ginny & Georgia: Season 1 – 302.1 million
  10. FUBAR: Season 1 – 266.2 million

Perhaps the most impressive numbers are for season 3 of the Spanish-language drama La Reina del Sur, considering it hasn't been available globally. The other entrants are.

Netflix also reveals that its users viewed more than 100 billion hours of content in the first six months of 2023, and watched more than 18,000 titles (shows and movies).

It stresses though that the success of a TV series or film should not be rated on viewing hours alone. It says that it gauges the size of the audience with the economics of the title.

Perhaps that's why it's controversially binned Shadow and Bone after season 2, even though it was watched more than Black Mirror, say, which has been recommissioned for a seveth series.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.