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The Duchess of Sussex – then Meghan Markle – left Suits in 2018
By Emma Saunders
Entertainment reporter

Suits, the hit legal drama starring the future Duchess of Sussex, set a new US streaming record after enjoying a resurgence in popularity in 2023.

According to media analysts Nielsen, the show, which first ran from 2011 to 2019, was watched for a total of 57.7 billion minutes on Netflix last year.

That beat The Office’s previous record of 57.1 billion minutes, set in 2020.

Children’s show Bluey was the second most-watched last year, with 43.9 billion minutes on Disney+.

That was followed by NCIS and a string of older shows including Grey’s Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory, Gilmore Girls and Friends, perhaps indicating a thirst for nostalgia.

Bluey flew through New York in the form of a giant balloon as part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in November

Suits first ran on cable channel the USA Network but saw a huge surge in viewership after being added to Netflix last summer.

It is the “perfect binge show”, Time magazine said in August.

“Suits hits a sweet spot,” Eliana Dockterman wrote. “The plots are silly, but never dumb. The dialogue may make you roll your eyes, but it’s clever just often enough.

“You can look down at your computer to answer emails for a 40-minute span, look back up again, and you haven’t missed anything particularly significant. And yet something dramatic and entertaining is happening.”

USA Today’s Kelly Lawler agreed that it was among “the kind of easy-going, lightweight TV shows that you can watch while folding laundry”.

She added: “There’s a little comedy, a little drama, a little mystery, a little heartbreak, a little joy, but never too much of any one thing.”

The presence in the cast of royalty also helped, she said.

“She may not have been a duchess while filming Suits, but her renown and celebrity is probably a factor in some people clicking play when they see her photo above the show’s logo.”

Firm favourites

Suits had more content (83 hours in total) than The Office (73 hours) so it had an advantage in clocking up viewing time.

There were no original shows from the streamers in the end-of-year top 10 list, with all being acquired from other networks.

Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso was the top original, racking up 16.9 billion minutes of viewing time. Netflix show The Night Agent was in second place on 14.4 billion.

Moana, from Disney+, was the most streamed film, with 11.6 billion viewing minutes. That chart was dominated by children’s films, with Encanto, Super Mario Bros Movie, Elemental, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Sing 2 and Frozen all making the top 10.

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