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'Wednesday' Is Netflix's No. 3 Most Watched Show of All Time (So Far)

Netflix says Wednesday has been watched for more than a billion hours, putting it behind only Squid Game and Stranger Things 4.

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Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
Wednesday Adams holding two bags filled with water and flesh-eating fish

Wednesday was released on Netflix right before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the US. 

Netflix

Netflix's breakout hit Wednesday, with more than 1 billion hours of the series watched in the first 19 days since its release, is Netflix's No. 3 most popular show of all time, according to the company's watch-time stats released Tuesday. 

At 1.02 billion hours watched, it's the third Netflix show to cross the 1 billion hour milestone, trailing just Squid Game and Stranger Things 4 on the streaming service's all-time popularity chart. 

And the show, a coming-of-age supernatural dark comedy with Jenna Ortega putting a new spin on Wednesday Addams, still has more than a week to keep accruing watch hours toward its ranking. Netflix ranks the popularity of its shows by the total number of hours they're watched within their first 28 days of release, and Wednesday's latest stats count viewing from its Nov. 23 release through Sunday. 

Wednesday remains behind the 1.35 billion hours of Stranger Things 4, Netflix's most watched English language series, as well as the 1.65 billion hours devoted to Squid Game, which is the most watched show on Netflix overall, according to the company's charts. 

For years, Netflix was notoriously tight-lipped about its viewership. Beau Willimon -- creator of House of Cards, which initially put Netflix's original programming on the map -- once said the company wouldn't even share viewership metrics with him. 

But within the last two years, Netflix has become much more open about the popularity of its shows and movies to help it recruit talent and stoke buzz. First, Netflix added a top-trending ranking to its service, so people can see the most popular titles streaming on Netflix in their country on any given day. Then it also started publicly sharing popularity stats for certain titles, publicizing the number of accounts that watched two minutes of a particular title in its first month of release.

In November, Netflix launched a website posting weekly charts of its most popular shows and movies, as well as a global ranking of all-time most watched titles. The charts are updated every week and ranked by the total number of hours that subscribers spent watching them. 

The rankings represent an unprecedented trove of data about what's popular on Netflix, detailing the most successful titles in the last week not only globally but also for more than 90 individual countries. It's the most transparency Netflix has ever adopted for its viewership, but the information's also meant to help subscribers get a better grip on what's most popular on the world's biggest subscription streaming service.