'Bridgerton,' 'Cobra Kai' Top First Nielsen Streaming List of 2021


Bridgerton and Cobra Kai finished nearly neck and neck in the latest edition of Nielsen's streaming rankings, each recording more than 2.6 billion minutes of viewing time.

The two Netflix series stand well above the rest of the pack for the week of Dec. 28-Jan. 3. Bridgerton, which premiered Dec. 25, more than doubled its viewing time from the previous week (1.2 billion to 2.65 billion). Netflix has said by its internal metrics, the period drama drew the most views ever for a series on the platform over its first 28 days.

Cobra Kai, whose third season debuted on New Year's Day, had 2.61 billion minutes of viewing in the United States — its highest total to date in the five months Nielsen has been releasing weekly rankings.

Nielsen is now breaking out the top 10 streaming titles in three categories: original series, acquired series and movies (both acquired and original). The weekly lists going forward will mirror the ratings service's 2020 year-end rankings of the top streaming properties.

Pixar's movie Soul remained strong on Disney+, finishing third in the overall rankings with 1.34 billion minutes, down just under 20 percent from the previous week's 1.67 billion. It finished and way ahead of the No. 2 movie, Netflix's We Can Be Heroes (626 million minutes).

Nielsen had revealed that Wonder Woman 1984's debut on HBO Max topped the week of Christmas, but the WarnerMedia streaming platform isn't yet part of the regular rankings, so numbers aren't available for its second-week performance.

The final season of Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina also debuted in the top 10 overall and ranked third among original series with 961 million minutes. Among acquired shows, The Office ended its run on Netflix at No. 1 with 937 million minutes. It will be the last appearance for the show in the rankings for the time being, as Nielsen isn't yet releasing numbers for The Office's new home at Peacock.

Streaming platforms contend Nielsen's methodology doesn't capture the full scope of viewing on devices other than TV sets. Nielsen also only measures U.S. audiences, not those in other countries, and currently only includes Amazon, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix in its rankings.

Nielsen's top 10 streaming programs for Dec. 28-Jan. 3 are below. Original streaming films are marked with an asterisk.

Original Series/Specials

1. Bridgerton (Netflix), 2.65 billion minutes viewed
2. Cobra Kai (Netflix), 2.61 billion
3. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix), 961 million
4. The Crown (Netflix), 797 million
5. The Mandalorian (Disney+), 707 million
6. Virgin River (Netflix), 662 million
7. The Queen's Gambit (Netflix), 607 million
8. Death to 2020 (Netflix), 519 million
9. The Great British Baking Show (Netflix), 445 million
10. Designated Survivor (Netflix), 241 million


1. Soul (Disney+), 1.34 billion minutes
2. We Can Be Heroes (Netflix), 626 million
3. The Midnight Sky (Netflix), 491 million
4. Unknown (Netflix), 307 million
5. Frozen II (Disney+), 238 million
6. Mulan (2020) (Disney+), 219 million
7. The Croods (Netflix), 185 million
8. Rango (Amazon), 161 million
9. 17 Again (Netflix), 155 million
10. Moana (Disney+), 144 million

Acquired Series

1. The Office (Netflix), 937 million minutes
2. Grey's Anatomy (Netflix), 835 million
3. Schitt's Creek (Netflix), 816 million
4. New Girl (Netflix), 728 million
5. Criminal Minds (Netflix), 711 million
6. NCIS (Netflix), 553 million
7. Supernatural (Netflix), 526 million
8. Shameless (Netflix), 329 million
9. The Blacklist (Netflix), 291 million
10. Imposters (Netflix), 279 million