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‘Stranger Things 4’ Shatters Netflix’s Premiere-Weekend Viewing Record

Season 4 of "Stranger Things" topped 286 million hours streamed from Friday to Sunday, breaking the "Bridgerton" Season 2 record for English-language series.

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix  © 2022

“Stranger Things”

Courtesy of Netflix

Stranger Things 4” is already turning Netflix viewership records Upside Down. The sci-fi drama just had the streaming service’s best-ever debut weekend for an English-language series, drawing 286.79 million hours viewed. And that’s just Volume 1.

The tally dethroned “Bridgerton” Season 2, which hit 193 million hours over its own premiere weekend.

The fourth season of “Stranger Things” set another new premiere-weekend record when it reached number one in 83 countries. (Netflix tracks viewership in 93 countries; “Stranger Things 4: Vol. 1” made the top 10 in all of them.)

Catchup viewing was also in full force: “Stranger Things” Seasons 1-3 also made Netflix’s top 10 – Global in the U.S. last week; technically, they all made the top five. The O.G. season topped 38 million hours from May 23 to May 29, good for third place. (With nearly 65 million hours watched, “The Lincoln Lawyer: Season 1” split “Stranger Things 4” and the first season of the Duffer Bros. series.) “Stranger Things 3” had more than 24 million hours viewed last week; “Stranger Things 2” got north of 22 million hours.

While Netflix’s top 10 spans Monday-Sunday, “Stranger Things 4: Vol. 1” debuted on Friday, so we’re only including three days here. The 286.79 million hours do not include viewership on actual Memorial Day.

“Bridgerton” Season 2, by the way, was in the top 10 for its 10th week in a row. The Shondaland Regency-period series ranked ninth with 11.34 million hours viewed last week. “Stranger Things 4” is still coming for “Bridgerton’s” 28-day record.

Ten days ago, we wrote about why “Stranger Things 4” will beat “Bridgerton” Season 2 for Netflix’s overall English-language viewing record. We’re feeling even more confident in that prediction today.

Season 2 of “Bridgerton” racked up 656.26 million hours viewed in the 28 days after it was released March 25. And what record-holder did “Bridgerton” Season 2 eclipse? “Bridgerton” Season 1, which viewers watched for 625.49 million hours in its first 28 days. It dethroned then-reigning champ “Stranger Things 3” on the Netflix-maintained (and occasionally EY-audited) list. “ST3” and both “Bridgerton” seasons were eight episodes each.

Technically, two foreign-language series outperformed both “Bridgerton” seasons. The absolute phenomenon that was “Squid Game” Season 1 tallied a whopping 1.65 billion (billion!) hours viewed in its first four full weeks on the platform. “Money Heist: Part 5” netted 792 million hours. Part 4 of “Money Heist” outdid “Stranger Things 3” with 619 million hours watched vs. 582 million.

It’ll be a while before we really know the overall “Stranger Things 4” 28-day tally. With the season split into two parts, the “Volume 2” hours won’t be calculable until four weeks after their July 1 premiere.

All in, “Stranger Things 4” will run for a grand total of about 13 hours, which gives it a significant edge over “Bridgerton.” Both “Bridgerton” seasons ran eight hours.

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