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Lockdown's most watched: The UKs most favourite binge-worthy Netflix shows discovered

During the first UK Covid-19 lockdown, online streaming of TV shows surged, with people spending over 6 hours a day watching their favourite TV programmes.

6th November, 2020
by Carl Walsh

After lockdown 1.0 ended, Netflix growth and streaming inevitably slowed, but halfway through lockdown 2.0, and people all over the UK are getting cosy in front of their TVs once again for more Netflix binge sessions. 

The streaming giant grew by 16 million users during lockdown 1.0, which proves that Netflix is a hub for the best quality and binge worthy entertainment. In the UK there are over 13 million users, so if you haven’t got the streaming service yet, what’s stopping you? 

At Bed Guru, we appreciate how comforting laying in bed and watching your favourite TV programme can be. Sometimes this act is the best way to relax and recharge, and there’s nothing better than getting snug in a duvet to escape into the fictional world of binge-worthy Netflix shows. 

So, with people all over the UK preparing to lockdown and binge watch Netflix, we collected data on 10 cities such as London and Leeds and dug deep to find out what Netflix show they loved the most. The TV shows included in the data have more than one season and are rated above 8 on IMDB, so you can be sure they are worthy of binge status.

Key Findings:

  • Peaky Blinders is the most binge worthy TV show in England
  • The Welsh prefer The Office to Peaky Blinders
  • Stranger Things is the second most binge worthy TV show in England
  • Although Sherlock is one of the top rated shows on IMDB it is not in the top 10 most search shows for any city
  • As the lowest IMDB rated show "Sex Education" appears in all top 10 city lists
  • The highest rated show on IMDb is Birmingham's least searched show
  • The popular Netflix show Black Mirror is Manchester's least searched Netflix show
  • People in London search to watch The Crown the most in the UK
  • People in Leeds search for Sex Education more than any other city
  • Out of 10 UK cities Cardiff search Breaking Bad the least

The research we conducted found some interesting figures about your city, so keep reading to find out:

London 

The results are in, and out of the 20 top rated Netflix shows, Peaky Blinders trumps the top spot in London. Rated 8.8/10 on IMDb, Peaky Blinders is a BBC crime drama set in Birmingham, England. The series follows the escapades of the Shelby family, who make up most of the street gang, The Peaky Blinders. The show is fictional, however, the “Peaky Blinders” were very much a real street gang that roamed the streets of Birmingham between the 1900s and the 1920s. In London, this Netflix show is searched for on average over 70,000 times a month! 

Interestingly, the gang name “Peaky Blinders” is said to have come from the fact that razor blades were sewn to the front of the gang's cap peaks, for the purpose of making their victims temporarily or permanently blind when head-butting them. 

Coming in at a close second is Stranger things, with Londoners searching for the show over 49,000 times every month! The Netflix original captured the attention of Netflix users all over the world, with a Netflix report stating over 40 million people watched the show globally. The American Science Fiction Horror series created by The Duffer Brothers is set in Hawkins in the 1980s, and each season follows a teenage group of friends who are experiencing supernatural events. According to Netflix, the show has been binged watched by 18.2 million people, so, if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out. 

The third most watched TV show in London is (drum roll please) The Crown! Rated an impressive 8.7/10 on Netflix, The Crown is an award-winning drama based on the life of Queen Elizabeth from the 1940s to current times. The royal family are famously based within and around London, with 15 million tourists flocking to see Buckingham palace each year. So, its setting could be one of the reasons why people in London search for The Crown on average 45,000 times every month! 

Check out the rest of top 10 most watched Netflix shows in London here: 

Top 10 Shows

London

1

Peaky Blinders

2

Stranger Things

3

The Crown

4

Sex Education

5

Money Heist

6

Ozark

7

Black Mirror

8

Breaking Bad

9

The Office UK

10

Cobra Kai

 

Birmingham 

Of course, the most watched show in Birmingham on Netflix is Peaky Blinders. Peaky Blinders is set in post-war Birmingham, where the Shelby family lead the most feared gang in the whole of the city. The award-winning drama is searched for over 11,000 times a month in the 2nd largest city in the UK, which proves how popular the show is in its hometown. The show was so loved in the city that Peaky Blinder themed bars and pubs have opened in droves. 

Stranger things come in at second once again, but compared to London where the show is searched for over 49,000 times a month, it's only searched for 9,000 times in Birmingham, but it still wins the second place spot in the city.

Coming in at third is Money Heist. Rated 8.4/10 on Netflix, the drama series is searched for nearly 5,000 times every month in Birmingham. The show is a Spanish heist crime, which has been translated for English viewing. The 4 seasons follow two heists led by ‘The Professor’ a mastermind in crime. The two heists target the Royal Mint of Spain and the Bank of Spain, and each episode is filled with twists and turns that no one could anticipate. 

The Netflix show in last place on Birmingham’s topmost watched shows is Breaking Bad. The neo-Western crime drama is the 4th best-rated show on IMDb with a rating on 9.5, but interestingly, the series is Birmingham’s least favourite. The show is searched for just over 4,000 times a month in Birmingham. So, what is it about Breaking Bad that you don’t like, Birmingham?

Check out the rest of top 10 most watched Netflix shows in Birmingham here: 

Top 10 Shows

Birmingham

1

Peaky Blinders

2

Stranger Things

3

Money Heist

4

Ozark

5

Sex Education

6

The Crown

7

The Office UK

8

Black Mirror

9

Cobra Kai

10

Breaking Bad

 

Leeds 

Unsurprisingly, Peaky Blinders and Stranger Things take the two top spots for the 10 most watched Netflix shows in Leeds. Peaky Blinders is searched for nearly 6,000 times every month in the small city, and Strangers Things is searched for nearly 5,000 times. So, it was a close call for the top spot. 

Coming in at third for Leeds is the comedy-drama Sex Education. The comedy premiered on Netflix in 2019, and over 40 million people streamed the first series soon after its debut. The series stars Asa Butterfield and his mother, Gillian Anderson, who works as a sex therapist. Asa soon follows in his mother’s footsteps when he starts giving sex therapy to fellow students at his school. The break-through show is searched for nearly in 4,000 times a month and, with a third series on its way, this figure is predicted to rise significantly. Could Sex Education soon be Leeds’ favourite Netflix show?

The office UK is Leeds’ 4th most watched Netflix show, with nearly 4,000 people searching for the comedy every month. The first episode of the sitcom was released in 2001, and 19 years later the Ricky Gervais show is still a UK favourite, with a proud rating of 8.5/10.

Check out the rest of top 10 most watched Netflix shows in Leeds here: 

Top 10 Shows

Leeds

1

Peaky Blinders

2

Stranger Things

3

Sex Education

4

The Office UK

5

The Crown

6

Ozark

7

Money Heist

8

Black Mirror

9

Breaking Bad

10

Cobra Kai

 

Sheffield 

Taking the top spot in Sheffield is the crime drama Peaky Blinders, and coming in at second is the American drama, Stranger Things. Combined, these shows have been watched by 51 million people. The period drama Peaky Blinders is searched for on average 5,520 times a month in Sheffield and Strangers Things is searched for 4,660 times a month in South Yorkshire's Steel City. 

The third most watched Netflix programme in Sheffield is The Office UK. In the year that the show was released, it famously received the lowest score for audience appreciation. But, with the show now being searched for over 3,000 times a month in Sheffield, it's safe to say that its audience appreciation has sky rocketed. The show has grown in popularity over the years, and in 2015 it was even named the best TV show of the past 20 years at the Broadcast Awards. 

Taking the 10th spot on the list in Sheffield is Cobra Kai, an American martial arts comedy. The show is rated 8.7/10 on IMDb, and has been nominated for many awards, including Outstanding Stunt Coordination at the Emmy’s. In Sheffield, the Netflix show is searched for just over 2,000 times every month. 

Check out the rest of top 10 most-watched Netflix shows in Sheffield here:

Top 10 Shows

Sheffield

1

Peaky Blinders

2

Stranger Things

3

The Office UK

4

Sex Education

5

The Crown

6

Ozark

7

Money Heist

8

Black Mirror

9

Breaking Bad

10

Cobra Kai

 

Manchester 

Peaky Blinders and Stranger Things seem to be the UK’s two favourite shows so far. Coming in at number one for Manchester’s favourite Netflix show is Peaky Blinders, with Strangers things at number two. The Birmingham based show, Peaky Blinders, is searched for over 25,000 times a month in Manchester, and Stranger Thing is searched for over 21,000 times a month. 

Coming in at Third for Manchester’s Top 10 Netflix shows is Ozark. Rated 8.4/10 on IMDb, Ozark is an award-winning American drama. The show stars Jason Bateman, a financial planner who relocated to the Ozarks with his family after being involved in a Money Laundering scandal. Currently, the series has released 3 seasons, with a 4th one on the way. The show is so popular in Manchester that it is searched for over 15,000 times a month! What is it that you love so much about Ozark, Manchester?

Manchester’s tenth favourite show is the dystopian Black Mirror. The show is rated an impressive 8.8/10 on Netflix and has been watched by millions globally. The science-fiction series showcases the manipulative effects that cutting edge technology could have on the world. In Manchester, the show is searched for over 9,000 times a month. 

Check out the rest of top 10 most watched Netflix shows in Manchester here:

Top 10 Shows

Manchester

1

Peaky Blinders

2

Stranger Things

3

Ozark

4

Sex Education

5

Money Heist

6

The Crown

7

Breaking Bad

8

Cobra Kai

9

The Office UK

10

Black Mirror

 

Newcastle 

What is it about Peaky Blinders and Stranger Things? Once again, Peaky Blinders takes the top spot as Newcastle’s favourite Netflix show, and coming in at a close second is Stranger Things. The 1920s crime drama Peaky Blinders is searched for 3,470 times a month in Newcastle, and Stranger Things is searched for 3,280 times a month. So, its clear the two TV shows are both firm favourites of the northeast England city. 

The Office UK comes in at Third for Newcastle, with 2,710 people searching for the show in the university city every month. Coming in close at fourth is Ozark, with 2,420 searches every month. 

Similarly to the city of Sheffield, Cobra Kai is Newcastle's least favourite Netflix show. Despite its impressive rating of 8.7/10 on IMDb, Cobra Kai is missing the mark for the people of Newcastle. The show is only searched for 1,730 times a month in the Tyneside city. 

One of the best-rated shows on Netflix, Sherlock, missed the list completely. Even though the show has a spectacular rating of 9.1, it is only searched for 1,020 times a month in Newcastle. The show has even won the award for outstanding lead actor at the Emmy’s, what is there not to love, Newcastle?

However, the lowest searched for series in Newcastle is The West Wing. Rated 8.8/10 on IMDb, the series has won the Golden Globe award for best television series and has been watched by millions globally. But the show is searched for a mere 420 times a month in Newcastle. 

Check out the rest of top 10 most-watched Netflix shows in Newcastle here:

Top 10 Shows

Newcastle

1

Peaky Blinders

2

Stranger Things

3

The Office UK

4

Ozark

5

Money Heist

6

The Crown

7

Sex Education

8

Black Mirror

9

Breaking Bad

10

Cobra Kai

 

Liverpool 

Peaky Blinders and Stranger Things take the top spots for Liverpool’s favourite Netflix shows. The BBC produced show Peaky Blinders is searched for nearly 7,000 times a month in Liverpool, and Stranger Things is searched for nearly 6,000 times a month. The two shows have lower ratings than Breaking Bad and Sherlock, yet their audience appreciation rating is much higher. 

A show that didn’t make the Liverpool list is Arrested Development, an 8.7/10 rated sitcom on IMDb. The show is so popular with viewers that it has 5 seasons, but with only 940 people searching for the show ib Liverpool per month, it's clearly missing something for the Merseyside audience. 

Like Newcastle, Liverpool isn’t a fan of the political drama ‘The West Wing’ either, with only 570 people in the city searching for the show every month. 

Check out the rest of top 10 most-watched Netflix shows in Liverpool here:

Top 10 Shows

Liverpool

1

Peaky Blinders

2

Stranger Things

3

Ozark

4

Money Heist

5

The Office UK

6

Sex Education

7

The Crown

8

Cobra Kai

9

Breaking Bad

10

Black Mirror

 

Glasgow 

No prizes for guessing what Netflix shows have taken the top two spots in Glasgow. That’s right, Peaky Blinders and Strangers Things remain in their winning spots. Peaky Blinders is Glasgow’s favourite Netflix TV show and is searched for 6,920 times every month. Stranger Things comes in at a close second again and is searched for 6,540 times in Glasgow, making it the city's second favourite Netflix programme. 

Out of the twenty best rated Netflix shows, Glasgow’s least favourite Netflix shows include The West Wing, Arrested Development and Daredevil. Even though they are all rated over 8 on IMDb, this wasn’t enough to get them a place on Glasgow’s top 10 list of their favourite Netflix shows. 

Last on their top 10 list is Black Mirror, with the show only being searched for just over 3,000 times a month. 

Check out the rest of top 10 most watched Netflix shows in Glasgow here:

Top 10 Shows

Glasgow

1

Peaky Blinders

2

Stranger Things

3

Ozark

4

Money Heist

5

The Crown

6

Sex Education

7

The Office UK

8

Cobra Kai

9

Breaking Bad

10

Black Mirror

 

Nottingham 

Peaky Blinders win the top spot for Nottingham, with the popular show boasting over 3,000 searches every month for the city. Strangers Things follows closely behind and is searched for on average 2,770 every month in the midland city. 

Last on Nottingham’s top 10 list is Cobra Kai, a series that seems to be only just making the top 10 list in the cities mentioned. 

Some of the shows that didn’t make Nottingham’s top 10 Netflix show list at all include The West Wing, Arrested Development, Narcos, Twin Peaks, House of Cards, Daredevil and After Life. 

Check out the rest of top 10 most-watched Netflix shows in Nottingham here:

Top 10 Shows

Nottingham

1

Peaky Blinders

2

Stranger Things

3

The Office UK

4

Sex Education

5

Money Heist

6

Black Mirror

7

The Crown

8

Breaking Bad

9

Ozark

10

Cobra Kai

 

Cardiff 

Plot twist, Peaky Blinders isn’t Cardiff’s favourite Netflix show. Coming at number one for the Welsh city is The Office UK. In Cardiff, the Ricky Gervais sitcom is searched for 2,040 times every month. In contrast, Ricky Gervais’s other series, After Life, is searched for just over 500 times a month, and therefore doesn’t make Cardiff’s top 10 favourite Netflix Show list. 

Even though Peaky Blinders didn’t take the top spot this time, it did take Stranger Things' spot in second. The crime drama is searched for nearly 2,000 times every month in Cardiff, making it Cardiff’s second favourite Netflix show. 

Last on Cardiff’s top 10 list is Money Heist. Even though the Spanish crime drama is rated 8.4/10 on IMDb, the welsh city search for the show just over 1,000 times every month. 

Some Netflix shows that didn’t make the Cardiff list include Mindhunter, Daredevil, Dexter, House of Cards, and Cobra Kai. 

Check out the rest of top 10 most watched Netflix shows in Cardiff here:

Top 10 Shows

Cardiff

1

The Office UK

2

Peaky Blinders

3

The Crown

4

Black Mirror

5

Stranger Things

6

Sex Education

7

Twin Peaks

8

Breaking Bad

9

Ozark

10

Money Heist

 

So, if you are from one of these cities, do you agree with your cities top Netflix pick? If not, what shows would be on your top 10 Netflix show list?

If you are planning to spend some of the lockdown days ahead winding down and watching Netflix, we hope the research above gives you some ideas of what to watch next. We recommend buying a comfy duvet, stocking up on your favourite snacks and choosing from one of the above TV shows to have the ultimate Netflix experience. 

Methodology

We collected the 20 best rated Netflix shows using Flixable, the more times a show was searched for in a particular city, the more watched it was. 

Search totals were gathered using Google Keyword Planner. The figures represented the monthly average based on the last 12 months per different city region. We gathered search totals both for titles alone (e.g. “peaky blinders”) and titles with “netflix” and “watch” appended to a keyword (“peaky blinders netflix”). For each city, the TV series with the highest search total in a given city was deemed the most-searched in that city.

Data was gathered in November 2020.

Netflix Top Rated TV Shows – https://flixable.com/genre/tv-shows/?min-rating=8&min-year=1920&max-year=2021&order=rating#filterForm

Search volumes – https://ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/

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