The Emmy Award-winning comedy landed at the top of TV Time’s weekly rankings of the most binged-watched television show for the third week in a row, based on data gleaned from users of the app. The number of people who reported watching four or more episodes at a time of Friends rose 3% during the week of Dec. 3, as compared to the prior week’s viewing.
These latest rankings reflect the enduring popularity of the Warner Bros. Television show, which first aired in 1994 and ran for 10 seasons on NBC. Another measurement firm Parrot Analytics said it’s the third most popular sitcom in the U.S., behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine (#1) and Big Bang Theory (#2).
Netflix subscribers flocked to social media recently in protest after the show’s Netflix page indicated it would be available until January 2019. The company wrote a big check (estimated to be around $100 million) to WarnerMedia keep all 236 episodes of Friends on the service through the end of the year.
TV Time’s rankings suggest viewers are in the mood for comedies, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine (No. 5) and The Good Place (No. 9) maintaining solid placement as the holidays approach, while How I Met Your Mother continues to hang on at No. 10.
Only one entry this week comes from streaming titan, Netflix. Italian original series, Baby, makes a compelling debut at No. 2 in TV Time’s Binge Report despite controversy over the show’s risqué topic. Meanwhile, power players from The CW, Riverdale (No. 3) and Arrow (No. 8) press on as they near their mid-season finales.
Netflix has been scrambling to increase its production of original shows to offset the departure of licensed shows from Fox to Hulu, and the gradual loss of Disney film titles as the Burbank entertainment giant reclaims content for its own competing streaming service.
Original content accounted for 37% of all streams on Netflix in October, up from 24% a year earlier and 14% in January 2017, according to a study by 7Park Data.