‘Friends’ secures No. 1 spot for most popular show on U.S. streaming services

“Friends” secures the No. 1 spot for most popular show on U.S. streaming services
Credit: Friends Instagram

The tragic news of series star Matthew Perry’s sudden death at the age of 54 was confirmed by his family and close friends last week on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Due to this, fans of the show were quick to pay their tributes to their favorite actor all over social media.

Many fans even started binge-watching the entire series once again in remembrance of Perry, who played Chandler Bing since its original run from 1994 to 2004. As a direct result, the show saw a huge spike in its streaming numbers, which eventually led “Friends” to secure the No. 1 spot for the most popular show on U.S. streaming services, according to the new data obtained. 

In the vast world of streaming services, where countless shows compete for viewers’ attention, it’s “Friends,” which has become one timeless sitcom that has effortlessly risen to the top by transcending generations and capturing hearts around the globe even after being off the air for the last 19 years! Its popularity is pretty evident as per the newly released data compiled by streaming guide JustWatch.

For the week of Oct. 30-Nov. 5, “Friends” was the top-ranked TV show among American viewers. That was followed by the limited series “All the Light We Cannot See” on Netflix and “Gen V” on Amazon’s Prime Video. With “Bodies” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” on Netflix securing the fourth and fifth place on the chart’s top 5 spots. 

Take a look at the complete list of the top 10 TV shows in the United States below: 

“Friends” secures the No. 1 spot for most popular show on U.S. streaming services

The rankings from JustWatch are based on self-reported data from its users, so it’s different from passive measurement services such as Nielsen’s Streaming Content Ratings, which is based on a sample of Nielsen’s Streaming Meter homes; Nielsen did not include Friends in this week’s rankings. Due to this, the show also does not appear on Max’s top 10 TV shows list, but according to WBD, content must be recently added to Max to be included as part of that ranking.

In the U.S., “Friends” became exclusively available on Max (formerly known as HBO Max) when the streaming service debuted in May 2020, after five years on Netflix. Shortly after Perry’s death, Max added a tribute card that now appears at the start of each season in his honor. In addition to this, Perry’s five Friends co-stars issued a joint statement, as they also attended his funeral on November 3, which was held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, as did his father and stepfather.

“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just castmates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss. In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.” 

The show follows the lives of a group of six unique 20-something friends as they live, work, and love in New York City by living in the same apartment building: siblings Ross (David Schwimmer) and Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), along with Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc), and Chandler Bing (Perry). Lastly, the show was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, who executive produced “Friends” with Kevin Bright through Bright/Kauffman/Crane Prods. in association with Warner Bros. Television.

All six cast members of the sitcom were last seen together for Friends: The Reunion, a reunion special that was released on HBO Max on May 27, 2021.