Audiences are appear to be paying tribute to Matthew Perry’s life by revisiting one of his most famous roles.
In the week following his death, viewership for Friends jumped to 860M minutes on Max from October 30 to November 5. That’s up significantly from the series’ viewership in the day after his death, which Nielsen reported in the last interval.
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According to Nielsen, that’s the largest viewing total for the series since it moved over to the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned platform in 2020. Previously, it had been on Netflix, where it did so well that the platform famously paid a reported $100M to keep the series for just one more year.
Friends has consistently been a top performer for Max. It’s previous viewership high, according to Nielsen, was about 737M viewing minutes the week of December 5, 2022.
The company also notes that two-thirds of the audience during the most recent interval was under 35. Many of those viewers, coincidentally, were not yet born when the series premiered in September 1994, which is a testament to the longevity of the series.
Also during this interval, Suits fell out of the top two for the first time since it debuted on Netflix in June. It appears we are now witnessing its inevitable decline after spending 19 weeks on top. The series still racked up an impressive 914M viewing minutes, though, holding onto third place.
In first place was Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which landed on Netflix on Halloween. It amassed 1.1B viewing minutes, half of which Nielsen says was driven by viewers under the age of 18.
It looks like the resurgence of Grey’s Anatomy is not yet over, either. The medical drama was back at No. 2 this week with over a billion minutes viewed. This is only the third time that the series has ever been in the billion-minute club.
Here is the full Top 10 for overall and originals, with streaming service, title, number of episodes (“1″=feature film or series premiere) and minutes of viewing: