Netflix’s Most Popular Original Shows—Ranked
What's your favorite Netflix original?
It’s no secret that Netflix cranks out new original series at a pace fast enough to keep you glued to your couch for the rest of your natural life. Of course, with as much content as the streaming service produces, there are bound to be some pebbles mixed in with the gems.
We took a look at Netflix’s 35 most popular original series, based on the current IMDb popularity rankings, and ranked them from worst to best. For our ranking, we combined the average Rotten Tomatoes score for each series with its IMDb user rating and came up with a total score that takes into account the ratings of both professional critics and typical viewers.
Where did your favorite Netflix original show land on the list?
35. ‘Iron Fist’ (2017)
Score: 104 (IMDb 6.7 / Rotten Tomatoes 37%)
In our system, a perfect score would be a 200 and the best show on the list scored a 184, so that shows you how much worse “Iron Fist” fared. This action-drama, based on the Marvel Comics character Iron Fist, ran for two seasons before being canceled in 2018. The show has, by far, the lowest average Rotten Tomatoes score of any popular Netflix original series and IMDb viewers didn’t like it much better, giving it their second-lowest score of any show on this list.
34. ‘Fuller House’ (2016)
Score: 111 (IMDb 6.9 / Rotten Tomatoes 42%)
Not faring a whole lot better is Netflix’s spin-off of the beloved sitcom “Full House.” This series catches up with D.J. and Stephanie Tanner, who are now grown up and living together with their pal Kimmy Gibbler in the house they grew up in from the original series. “Fuller House” will have a fourth season of new episodes premiering before the end of 2018, proving that, while it is far from acclaimed, it must have a dedicated audience.
33. ’13 Reasons Why’ (2017)
Score: 133 (IMDb 8.1 / Rotten Tomatoes 52%)
This teen series has certainly been divisive, earning Netflix some heat from people who’ve said it glamorizes adolescent suicide. “13 Reasons Why” is about a teen girl who kills herself and reveals why in a series of 13 cassette tapes given to people she knew. The show hasn’t exactly been a hit with critics, based on its average Rotten Tomatoes score, but viewers who rated it on IMDb seem to love it. The show’s third season is expected to hit Netflix in 2019.
32. ‘The Ranch’ (2016)
Score: 139 (IMDb 7.6 / Rotten Tomatoes 63%)
This sitcom has earned mediocre grades from critics and audiences, landing it toward the bottom of Netflix’s top original shows. It stars Sam Elliott, Ashton Kutcher and Debra Winger, among other recognizable actors, and follows a dysfunctional family in Colorado. The third season debuted on Netflix in 2018 and a fourth season is reportedly on the way.
31. ‘Bloodline’ (2015)
Score: 141 (IMDb 8.0 / Rotten Tomatoes 61%)
A Netflix show that didn’t quite live up to its potential was “Bloodline,” which wrapped up in 2017 with its third season. It looked into the dark secrets hidden by a wealthy family of community pillars in the Florida Keys and boasted an outstanding cast of powerhouse actors like Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek and Ben Mendelsohn. The show could have been higher on this list but its final two seasons dragged its critical score down heavily after a great first season.
30. ‘Ozark’ (2017)
Score: 153 (IMDb 8.4 / Rotten Tomatoes 69%)
“Ozark” is another Netflix original about a seemingly perfect family that is actually into some dark stuff. The series stars Jason Bateman, in a tough-guy role that’s way against type, and the always wonderful Laura Linney, as a married couple who move to Missouri to set up a money laundering operation. A third season is expected to debut in 2019 after the warm response to the first two seasons, although critics seemed to cool on “Ozark” a bit in its second batch of episodes.
29. ‘Dear White People’ (2017)
Score: 162 (IMDb 6.3 / Rotten Tomatoes 99%)
There was no greater divide between critics and IMDb users among Netflix original series than for this one. “Dear White People” earned an incredible 99-percent rating from critics rounded up at Rotten Tomatoes, while it had the lowest score from IMDb users at 6.3. The series, based on the acclaimed 2014 movie, is set in a fictional Ivy League school and focuses on issues of race relations while following the university’s small population of black students.
28. ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ (2016)
Score: 163 (IMDb 7.8 / Rotten Tomatoes 85%)
Like “Fuller House,” this Netflix original picked up the action of a beloved series that had been off the air for years — but unlike “Fuller House,” this one was acclaimed. “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” revisited the tight mother-daughter relationship between Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, nine years after the end of “Gilmore Girls.” The new series consisted of just four episodes that were each about the length of the feature film and is not expected to have any more episodes.
27. ‘Luke Cage’ (2016)
Score: 163 (IMDb 7.5 / Rotten Tomatoes 88%)
For tie scores, we gave the nod to the series that had the higher Rotten Tomatoes score, and critics slightly preferred “Luke Cage” to “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” This Marvel superhero series followed a man with superhuman strength and skin like iron. The show was set in the same universe as other Netflix Marvel shows like “Iron Fist,” “Jessica Jones” and “Daredevil.” Unfortunately for fans, “Luke Cage” was canceled by Netflix after just two seasons.
26. ‘Atypical’ (2017)
Score: 164 (IMDb 8.4 / Rotten Tomatoes 80%)
This series, about growing up as a teen with autism, saw its stock rise during its second season in 2018 thanks to its inclusion of more actors and writers who are on the spectrum. The show’s cast includes Michael Rapaport and Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh. It has been renewed for a third season.
25. ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ (2018)
Score: 165 (IMDb 7.9 / Rotten Tomatoes 86%)
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is a more dramatic take on the character of Sabrina Spellman, who was featured in the sitcom “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and in the old Archie comics. The first season, which stars “Mad Men” breakout Kiernan Shipka, was praised by critics and audiences when it debuted in October 2018. An entire new season of episodes is expected to hit Netflix in April 2019.
24. ‘Arrested Development’ (2013)
Score: 166 (IMDb 8.9 / Rotten Tomatoes 77%)
Yet another series Netflix dusted off after it was canceled by another network, “Arrested Development” is one of Netflix’s oldest original shows. It follows a wealthy, inept family and boasts a strong ensemble of comedic actors who deliver its lightning-fast jokes. “Arrested Development” was considered a flawless darling until the past couple Netflix seasons, and some off-screen controversies damaged its legacy a bit, likely hurting its position on this list greatly. But its score among IMDb users is tied for the highest mark on this list.
23. ‘House of Cards’ (2013)
Score: 167 (IMDb 8.9 / Rotten Tomatoes 78%)
The very first original series produced by Netflix started out as a critical juggernaut but saw its legacy diminished a bit as the seasons went by. “House of Cards” is tied as the highest-scoring series on this list among IMDb users but its critical reviews softened over the past couple of years. The show, a grim political thriller set in Washington that follows a married couple that rises to immense power, starred Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey, among other dramatic powerhouses. The sixth and final season debuted on Netflix in November 2018.
22. ‘Grace and Frankie’ (2015)
Score: 169 (IMDb 8.3 / Rotten Tomatoes 86%)
This Emmy-nominated comedy boasts a strong cast of acting titans led by Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. They play a pair of women who are left to cope after their husbands reveal they are gay and are starting a life together. The show is one of the few where critics and audiences seem to agree on how much they like it. The fifth season of “Grace and Frankie” is set to debut in January 2019.
21. ‘Jessica Jones’ (2015)
Score: 169 (IMDb 8.1 / Rotten Tomatoes 88%)
Another series set in Netflix’s Marvel universe, “Jessica Jones” follows a superhero who wishes to keep her powers to herself, and who runs a detective agency in New York City. Krysten Ritter of “Breaking Bad” fame stars as Jessica Jones and has been praised for her portrayal of the tough character, especially by critics. A third season of episodes is expected to premiere in 2019, but with Netflix canceling its other Marvel shows, it’s unclear what will happen after that.
20. ‘Orange Is The New Black’ (2013)
Score: 170 (IMDb 8.1 / Rotten Tomatoes 89%)
Another one of Netflix’s first original shows, “Orange is the New Black” has mostly remained a favorite of critics and viewers for more than five years. The show features a large cast of mostly women actors and follows the lives of inmates and employees at a minimum-security women’s prison in New York. Netflix, which is tight-lipped with viewership numbers, has revealed in the past that “Orange is the New Black” was its most-watched original show. The show’s seventh and final season is slated to debut in 2019.
19. ‘Narcos: Mexico’ (2018)
Score: 171 (IMDb 8.7 / Rotten Tomatoes 84%)
The newest Netflix original series to be on this list, “Narcos: Mexico” is a companion series to the streaming network’s popular show “Narcos.” This story is set in the 1980s and follows the rise of a Mexican drug cartel, as well as the DEA agent trying to bring them down. Talented Latino actors including Michael Peña and Diego Luna star as men on opposite sides of the law. “Narcos: Mexico” nearly drew as much praise from critics and IMDb users as the show from which it spun off.
18. ‘Making A Murderer’ (2015)
Score: 171 (IMDb 8.7 / Rotten Tomatoes 84%)
This documentary series is one of the reasons many consider Netflix to be a must-have for lovers of true-crime stories. It tells the unbelievable stories of two men who police claimed were involved in a 1985 murder. It earned several Emmy Awards for Netflix and has been acclaimed by viewers and critics. So far, two seasons have aired, including 10 new episodes that premiered in October 2018.
17. ‘Longmire’ (2015)
Score: 171 (IMDb 8.3 / Rotten Tomatoes 88%)
“Longmire” is yet another example of a show that was canceled by another network and resurrected at Netflix. The crime drama follows a Wyoming sheriff, played with quiet intensity by Robert Taylor. Netflix aired three of its own seasons of the series after three had aired on A&E. Its final episodes hit Netflix in 2017.
16. ‘Love’ (2016)
Score: 171 (IMDb 7.7 / Rotten Tomatoes 94%)
This romantic comedy series from creator Judd Apatow was a darling of critics, based on its Rotten Tomatoes average. The show followed a pair of characters in their love lives and presented the viewpoints of men and women on various relationship situations. Three seasons of “Love” aired, with the final 12 episodes premiering in March 2018.
15. ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ (2015)
Score: 175 (IMDb 7.7 / Rotten Tomatoes 98%)
Another show that has a serious divide between critical reception and IMDb user reception is Tina Fey’s quirky sitcom “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” The show has a near-perfect 98-percent Rotten Tomatoes grade but a slightly more tepid 7.7 IMDb rating. The show follows an eternally optimistic woman, played by “The Office” star Ellie Kemper, who gets used to life in New York City after spending 15 years in an Indiana cult. The show’s final six episodes are expected to air in January 2019.
14. ‘Narcos’ (2015)
Score: 177 (IMDb 8.8 / Rotten Tomatoes 89%)
Here’s one where both critics and regular viewers were in total agreement that they loved a series. Netflix’s “Narcos” told the story of infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar as he rose to power in 1980s Colombia and followed the DEA agents who tried to bust him. “Narcos” was highly praised during all three of its seasons, the final one of which aired in 2017.
13. ‘The Crown’ (2016)
Score: 177 (IMDb 8.7 / Rotten Tomatoes 90%)
Arguably Netflix’s most ambitious series, “The Crown” is attempting to tell the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign over the United Kingdom. The show has been praised for its gorgeous visuals and strong performances, especially by Claire Foy, who played Elizabeth in the first two seasons. The show will jump forward in time for its third and fourth seasons, with older actors taking over the main roles. New episodes are expected to be released in 2019.
12. ‘BoJack Horseman’ (2014)
Score: 177 (IMDb 8.5 / Rotten Tomatoes 92%)
Netflix’s first foray into original animation, “BoJack Horseman” has seen its reputation grow considerably in the years since it debuted in 2014. Some have even called it the network’s best original series but, based on our scoring system, it lands just outside the top 10. The show follows a washed-up, alcoholic actor — voiced by Will Arnett — as he lives out his middle-age years in Hollywood. The sixth season of “BoJack Horseman” debuted on Netflix in October 2018.
11. ‘GLOW’ (2017)
Score: 177 (IMDb 8.1 / Rotten Tomatoes 96%)
This fun series, produced by “Orange is the New Black” creator Jenji Kohan, tells a fictionalized version of the 1980s women’s pro wrestling outfit, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. The ensemble cast includes Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron and the show has been praised by critics since its debut in 2017. So far, two seasons have aired but a third is expected to come.
10. ‘Black Mirror’ (2016)
Score: 178 (IMDb 8.9 / Rotten Tomatoes 89%)
Into the top 10 now, “Black Mirror” is the show upon which critics and IMDb users most agreed. Each episode follows a new cast in a story set in a terrifying near-future setting. This “The Twilight Zone”-style sci-fi anthology series started as a show on Britain’s Channel 4 but was bought by Netflix in 2015, becoming one of the streaming network’s original series. A fifth season of episodes may yet be released before the end of 2018.
9. ‘Daredevil’ (2015)
Score: 178 (IMDb 8.7 / Rotten Tomatoes 91%)
Much more acclaimed than the awful Ben Affleck movie about the same character, this superhero series was Netflix’s first original collaboration with Marvel. The plot follows a blind lawyer who fights as a masked vigilante once nightfall comes. “Daredevil” was praised by critics and audiences from day one and set the tone for the other Marvel shows that would follow on Netflix. The show was surprisingly canceled after three seasons in 2018.
8. ‘Queer Eye’ (2018)
Score: 178 (IMDb 8.4 / Rotten Tomatoes 94%)
Who doesn’t love the Fab Five? Netflix’s only reality series to make this list has been praised for adding substance to the typically shallow genre of makeover shows. In it, a group of gay men who each have a distinct area of focus try to improve the lives of people who need a little help. It is a reboot of the beloved 2003 Bravo series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Two seasons debuted in 2018 and a third is expected to come in 2019.
7. ‘The Haunting Of Hill House’ (2018)
Score: 180 (IMDb 8.8 / Rotten Tomatoes 92%)
Hands-down the creepiest show Netflix has ever produced, “The Haunting of Hill House” just made its debut in October 2018 but is already counted among the network’s best series. The show follows a family of adult siblings and charts the damage done to them by living in a haunted house as children. The series was unanimously praised by critics and viewers alike, boasting one of the highest IMDb ratings of any show on this list. It’s unclear what the future of “The Haunting of Hill House” will be.
6. ‘American Vandal’ (2017)
Score: 180 (IMDb 8.2 / Rotten Tomatoes 98%)
You might be surprised to find this silly little comedy so high on the list of Netflix’s best original shows but critics and audiences have loved it from day one. “American Vandal” is a parody of true-crime documentaries like “Making a Murderer,” giving the same hard-hitting investigative treatment to crimes that include a person tagging high school teachers’ cars with obscene graffiti. The show’s hilarious first season actually won a Peabody Award. After two seasons, “American Vandal” was canceled by Netflix in 2018.
5. ‘One Day At A Time’ (2017)
Score: 180 (IMDb 8.2 / Rotten Tomatoes 98%)
One of the most slept-on Netflix originals also ranks in the network’s top five best shows ever, according to our scoring system. The series is a modern reboot of the 1975 Norman Lear sitcom of the same name, this time following a Latino family. “One Day at a Time” doesn’t get the kind of press other major Netflix series do but it has been heavily praised by critics and audiences since debuting in 2017. A third season is expected to be on the way.
4. ‘Big Mouth’ (2017)
Score: 181 (IMDb 8.1 / Rotten Tomatoes 100%)
Netflix’s highest-rated animated series is this hilariously awkward look at life in middle school. It holds down a rare 100-percent average rating at Rotten Tomatoes, racked up over its two seasons so far. Voice actors include Nick Kroll, who co-created the show, John Mulaney and Maya Rudolph. A third season is expected to be coming soon.
3. ‘Mindhunter’ (2017)
Score: 183 (IMDb 8.6 / Rotten Tomatoes 97%)
If I was asked to pick my favorite Netflix original, “Mindhunter” would be it — and it seems like critics and IMDb users love it almost as much. This dark crime drama tells the true story of the FBI’s first team of criminal profilers in the 1970s as they interview serial killers and try to crack unsolved killings using what they learn from them. New episodes are finally expected to come in 2019 after nearly two years.
2. ‘Master of None’ (2015)
Score: 183 (IMDb 8.3 / Rotten Tomatoes 100%)
The best comedy Netflix ever produced, according to our scoring system, was Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None.” The introspective show starred Ansari as a young actor navigating his life. Both seasons of the show earned a 100-percent grade from critics at Rotten Tomatoes, which is nearly unheard of. Many thought the second season, which aired in 2017, was even better than the first. It’s unclear if any more episodes will be produced.
1. ‘Stranger Things’ (2016)
Score: 184 (IMDb 8.9 / Rotten Tomatoes 95%)
Based on our combined score of Rotten Tomatoes critics and IMDb users, “Stranger Things” is the best original series Netflix has ever produced. What makes that even more impressive is that, according to reports, the series is also Netflix’s most popular show ever. This love letter to 1980s coming-of-age adventure flicks combines sci-fi and horror with some of the most likable child actors you’ve ever seen to tell a story about supernatural events that happen around a small Indiana town. The third season of “Stranger Things” is expected to debut in 2019.