In a game of rock, paper, scissors, it looks like Suits pulled out the scissors last year when it began streaming on Netflix. In a Jan. 29 report from Variety, Nielsen announced that the USA Network legal drama has officially snatched a record away from the insanely popular NBC sitcom The Office. When it comes to the number of minutes watched in a single year, Suits bumped Dunder Mifflin from the top spot.
To put it into perspective, The Office raked in 57.1 billion minutes of viewing time throughout 2020 (we all really needed the laughs, it seems), while Suits overtook the sitcom in 2023 with the record-breaking 57.7 billion minutes. As if these Nielsen numbers aren't already huge, they don't even include figures outside of the United States or on mobile devices.
To further put those billions of viewing minutes into perspective, The Office pulled off the initial record with around 73 hours of episodes, while Suits had an advantage with longer episodes and 10 more hours of episodes at about 83 hours. (Both shows have nine seasons, and The Office has 201 episodes and Suits has 134. The difference lies in running time.)
Netflix still has a powerful impact on streaming
Needless to say, no matter how many hours of episodes either show has to its name, holding a streaming record like this one is nothing short of impressive. Both The Office and Suits, which hail from under the NBCUniversal umbrella, prove the staying power of beloved series. If they're available to stream, on the right platform at the right time, fans will find these shows again.
As Suits takes over the record from The Office, one NBCUniversal series succeeds another. However, the bragging rights partly belong to Netflix, as the leading streamer helped propel both of these shows to their records. The Office streamed on Netflix in its record-setting 2020 before leaving for Peacock the next year. Suits landed on Netflix in 2023 and saw an unprecedented boom in popularity, while still being available on Peacock.
For all the flack Netflix receives for canceling its own shows or removing fan favorites, the streamer appears to have a hold on the streaming audience with its content choices. Within Nielsen's Top 10 Overall Streaming Programs chart for 2023, Netflix boasts seven titles (and of those seven, it shares three of those shows with other streamers). Among those in the top 10 under Suits are NCIS, Grey's Anatomy, Cocomelon, Gilmore Girls, Heartland, and Supernatural.
Given this record-setting moment, it's no wonder Netflix is looking to lean further into acquiring fan-favorites moving forward. Already in 2024, Netflix has acquired This Is Us and Royal Pains, with Monk, My Wife and Kids, Warrior, White Collar, Sex and the City, and so many others confirmed to be on the way later on in the year. Which one could be the next Suits?