Americans Streamed 58 Billion Minutes of ‘The Office’ on Netflix in 2020

by Chris Haney

Even though NBC’s sitcom The Office has been off-air for almost eight years, fans still can’t get enough of it, according to recent Nielsen streaming ratings reported by Todd Spangler of Variety. In 2020 alone, Netflix users streamed almost 58 billion minutes of The Office.

The comedy took the top spot by far compared to every other TV show available on major subscription-video platforms. Americans had much more time on their hands in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It left ample time for binge-watching new TV shows or watching re-runs of old favorites.

On Tuesday, Nielsen released ratings statistics for the “Top Streaming Content of 2020: Acquired Series.” The Office was the top streamed TV show, followed by Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, NCIS, and Schitt’s Creek. The ratings are based on the Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings service, which rates only the four largest streaming services. They include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus.

Another caveat of the ratings is the sheer volume of episodes available for older series. In comparison, newer original shows created by each streaming service have far less episodes available. For example, fans may have watched 58 billion minutes of The Office, but there are 192 episodes available to watch. In contrast, viewers watched 30.5 billion minutes of the original Ozark, which only has 28 episodes.

Netflix Loses ‘The Office’ to Peacock Streaming Service

Netflix had a great year in the ratings battle for streaming shows. Nielsen also rated the “Top Streaming Content of 2020: Original Series” and “Top Streaming Content of 2020: Movies.” The streaming service held nine of the top 10 ratings for original series. Ozark led the bunch, with Lucifer, The Crown, and Tiger King right behind it.

However, Netflix officially lost its number one acquired series as of Jan. 1. NBC took The Office catalog back to stream exclusively on their own Peacock streaming service. Therefore, the show’s fans will have to subscribe to Peacock now if they want to keep watching Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, Jim and Pam, and the rest of the Dunder Mifflin crew.

Although millions of Netflix’s users will be disappointed to lose The Office, the good news is that Peacock is fairly inexpensive. For true fans of the NBC sitcom who can’t go without, Peacock’s streaming service starts at only $5 a month. NBC is banking on The Office‘s cult-like following to switch over to Peacock in 2021. If fans stream anywhere close to the 58 billion minutes of the show that they did last year, NBC’s gamble will surely pay off.

Top Streaming Content of 2020: Acquired Series

RankProgram Name# of EpisodesMinutes Streamed (Nearest Million)
1The Office19257,127
2Grey’s Anatomy36639,405
3Criminal Minds27735,414
5Schitt’s Creek7023,785
8New Girl14614,545
9The Blacklist15214,480
10Vampire Diaries17114,091

Top Streaming Content of 2020: Original Series

RankProgram Name# of EpisodesMinutes Streamed (Nearest Million)
3The Crown4016,275
4Tiger King815,611
5The Mandalorian1614,519
6The Umbrella Academy2013,470
7The Great British Baking Show6513,279
8Boss Baby: Back in Business4912,625