Lucifer Beats Squid Game as Top 2021 Streaming Show According to Nielsen

Lucifer, the fan-favorite adaptation of the DC/Vertigo comics title of the same name, has once again topped the streaming ratings. The series, which was cancelled after three seasons on FOX and revived by Netflix, has gone on to be one of the most reliable hits in the streaming space. Lucifer has a fiercely dedicated audience, who seem to tune in throughout the streaming window, rather than just when the show is new, so while other mega-hits like Squid Game might blow it out of the water when they're brand new, Lucifer will go back to the top of the charts a few weeks later.

According to a breakdown over at Deadline, Lucifer's 93 episodes netted more than 18.3 billion minutes of streaming during the year, according to Nielsen's year-end report. That's significantly more than Squid Game's 16.4 billion, but obviously Squid Game also has literally ten percent of the episodes, with only nine episodes on Netflix in 2021, suggesting that there are more overall viewers for Squid Game, assuming anyone at all is binging Lucifer.

Nielsen also revealed that only 15% of Squid Game's viewership was tallied by U.S. viewers of the Korean-language, subtitled version, while the vast majority of U.S. viewers watched a dubbed version.

Disney+'s Luca was the most-watched movie of the year. 

All of these numbers have something of an asterisk next to them: Disney+, Hulu, Prime Video, Apple TV+ and Netflix are the only services being regularly monitored, so there's real count of other popular titles, including Friends on HBO Max or Yellowstone on Peacock. In terms of movies, Paramount+'s Paw Patrol: The Movie isn't considered either.

Lucifer is just one success story for Netflix when it comes to resurrected shows. The streamer brought back Arrested Development for a couple of additional seasons a few years ago. You, starring Penn Badgley, is a commercial and critical darling for Netflix, despite airing its first season on Lifetime. Netflix's biggest rescue story may still be to come, as it brought Manifest back for a final season after the show was cancelled by NBC. Before Netflix had announced the pickup, Manifest became a massive hit on the streaming service, consistently topping the streaming charts.

For Lucifer, these numbers represent a swan song, as the show finally got to the ending it had always hoped of achieving. Not only did the final run deliver great viewership, but it also offered fans an emotional and satisfying finale to the series. When it was axed by Fox after just three seasons, many of the Lucifer faithful feared they'd never get to see the completed story.

You can stream all episodes of Lucifer (and Squid Game) on Netflix.