Acquired titles — chief among them The Office — dominated streaming in 2020, according to a newly released year-end summary from Nielsen.
The measurement firm began incorporating subscription streaming into its weekly ratings last summer, though with an extended lag time. It tracks only viewing through a TV screen — meaning no mobile devices — and only in the U.S.
Consistent with the pattern of the weekly charts, titles acquired by Netflix account for the majority of the top-ranked shows. Nielsen released separate top-10 lists for acquired and original fare. Deadline has combined them into a single top-15 chart — see it below.
The Office wrapped up its run on Netflix — it’s now on NBCUniversal’s Peacock — with 57.1 billion total minutes of streaming. Shows with longer runs are automatically set up to have more favorable results given that Nielsen tracks total minutes of streaming (the more episodes, the more potential streaming).
Grey’s Anatomy, another prolific show, finished No. 2, followed by Criminal Minds.
The only originals to be found are Ozark, the top original and fourth-ranked show overall with 30.5 billion streaming minutes; Lucifer, The Crown, Tiger King and The Mandalorian. Five other Netflix originals are clustered between 11 billion and 13.5 billion streaming minutes: The Umbrella Academy, Great British Baking Show, Boss Baby: Back in Business, Longmire and You.
Because of the methodology, Nielsen’s movie rankings are dramatically tilted toward Disney+ because of all of the repeat viewing and family fare. Frozen II and Moana topped the rankings. Library films dominated, but three originals finished in the top 10: Onward, with about 8.4 billion total minutes; Hamilton, with 6.1 billion, and Netflix’s Spenser Confidential, with 5.4 billion minutes.
Here is the top 15: