14 TV shows that got a 'Netflix bump' this year, from 'Schitt's Creek' to 'Better Call Saul'

  • Pop TV's "Schitt's Creek" dominated the Emmys on Sunday, but Netflix helped introduce the series to a wider audience.
  • It isn't the first show to experience the "Netflix bump." The "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan has credited Netflix for boosting the show's ratings.
  • Now, Netflix is helping Gilligan's "Breaking Bad" follow-up, "Better Call Saul." It's among the most popular series this year streaming on Netflix that originated on another network, according to the television-tracking app TV Time.
  • TV Time provided Business Insider with 14 of the most watched shows this year that are streaming on Netflix that originated on another network, based on activity from its millions of users.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Pop TV's "Schitt's Creek" swept the Emmys on Sunday with seven wins. After going unnoticed by the Emmys in its first four seasons and then being recognized in its fifth, the show suddenly became an awards heavyweight in its sixth and final season this year.

It largely has Netflix to thank for that.

While the series isn't a Netflix original, the streaming giant introduced it to a much wider audience that helped propel it to Emmys glory. The show's cocreator and star, Eugene Levy, even thanked Netflix in his acceptance speech after it won best comedy series.

"Schitt's Creek" isn't the first show to experience the "Netflix bump." "Breaking Bad," another Emmys favorite, saw its ratings rise after streaming on Netflix. Creator Vince Gilligan told reporters in 2013 after it won the best drama Emmy that "Netflix kept us on the air."

Now, Netflix is boosting Gilligan's "Breaking Bad" follow-up, "Better Call Saul," a prequel series starring Bob Odenkirk as the lawyer Jimmy McGill. The show is among this year's most popular shows that are streaming on Netflix but originated on another network, according to the television-tracking app, TV Time.

TV Time provided Business Insider with the most watched shows on Netflix since January 1 that originated on another network, based on activity from its millions of users (we excluded international shows and shows that Netflix revived as originals, such as "Lucifer").

The list includes sitcoms like "The Office," which has consistently been one of Netflix's most popular shows but is leaving at the end of the year for NBCUniversal's new streaming service, Peacock; long-running procedural dramas like "Criminal Minds" and "Grey's Anatomy"; and the animated series "Avatar: The Last Airbender," which arrived on Netflix this year and immediately joined the streamer's own daily lists of its most popular titles, even though it originally aired from 2005 to 2008.

Netflix's library of old TV shows is important for the service, even as it invests heavily into original content. When Nielsen debuted its first weekly list of top streaming titles earlier this month, based on minutes watched, all were streaming on Netflix, but just one was a Netflix original. The list included shows that appeared on TV Times' list, such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "The Office."

Here are 14 TV shows that got a viewership bump after becoming available on Netflix, ranked by their popularity with TV Time's users:

14. "Better Call Saul"

Original network: AMC (2015-present, five seasons)

Available on Netflix: First four seasons; season four dropped in February

Netflix description: "This Emmy-nominated prequel to 'Breaking Bad' follows small-time attorney Jimmy McGill as he transforms into morally challenged lawyer Saul Goodman."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 97%

What critic said: "The new season proves 'Better Call Saul' remains one of the finest shows on television, with visually ambitious storytelling used to depict complex characters headed for a tragic end." — NPR (season 5)

13. "Outlander"

Original network: Starz (2014-present, five seasons)

Available on Netflix: First three seasons; season three dropped in December

Netflix description: "This epic tale adapted from Diana Gabaldon's popular series of fantasy-romance novels focuses on the drama of two time-crossed lovers."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%

What critic said: "In its fifth season, the time travel period romance has truly found its footing … the series has now found a new level of maturity which matches its central characters." — Collider (season 5)

12. "How to Get Away with Murder"

Original network: ABC (2014-2020, six seasons)

Available on Netflix: Entire series; season six dropped in August

Netflix description: "Brilliant criminal defense attorney and law professor Annalise Keating, plus five of her students, become involved in a twisted murder case."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 88%

What critic said: "How To Get Away With Murderhas always excelled with beginnings and not so much endings. It relishes in setting up intricate mysteries, unspooling in reverse with its endless, flashy flashforwards." — AV Club (season 6)

11. "The Blacklist"

Original network: NBC (2013-present, seven seasons)

Available on Netflix: Seven seasons; season seven dropped in September

Netflix description: "After turning himself in, a brilliant fugitive offers to help the FBI bag other baddies, but only if rookie profiler Elizabeth Keen is his partner."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%

What critic said: "Spader remains the best reason to stay tuned to what is otherwise a fairly pedestrian espionage drama." — The Age (season 7)

10. "Good Girls"

Original network: NBC (2018-present, three seasons)

Available on Netflix: Two seasons; season two dropped in December

Netflix description: "Three suburban moms orchestrate a local grocery store heist to escape financial ruin and establish independence — together."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 87%

What critic said: "The turned tables may make it harder for these women to sleep at night, but it still makes for damn good TV." — TV Guide (season 3)

9. "The Good Place"

Original network: NBC (2016-present, four seasons)

Available on Netflix: First three seasons; season four drops September 26

Netflix description: "Due to an error, self-absorbed Eleanor Shellstrop arrives at the Good Place after her death. Determined to stay, she tries to become a better person."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 97%

What critic said: "The Good Place went out on its own terms, with a finale that argued that choosing your own ending is both a reward you earn and a gift you give." — Slate (season 4)

8. "The Walking Dead"

Original network: AMC (2010-present, ten seasons)

Available on Netflix: First nine seasons; season nine dropped in September, 2019

Netflix description: "In the wake of a zombie apocalypse, survivors hold on to the hope of humanity by banding together to wage a fight for their own survival."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 81%

What critic said: "There's no doubt The Walking Dead can continue without its lead star Andrew Lincoln … TWD's strength is in its core heroes — Reedus, McBride, and Gurira …" — Insider (season 10)

7. "Avatar: The Last Airbender"

Original network: Nickelodeon (2005-2008, three seasons)

Available on Netflix: Entire series dropped in May

Netflix description: "Siblings Katara and Sokka wake young Aang from a long hibernation and learn he's an Avatar, whose air-bending powers can defeat the evil Fire Nation."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%

What critic said: "After ramping the story up and drawing it back down so many times, Avatar: The Last Airbender manages to end its story with [hitting] all of the right notes." — The AV Club (season 3)

6. "Community"

Original network: NBC (2009-2015, six seasons)

Available on Netflix: Entire series dropped in April

Netflix description: "When his bogus law degree is exposed, Jeff Winger goes back to college and forms a study group of outcasts."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 88%

What critic said: "Community loves nothing more than pushing back against traditional industry standards, an impulse that shows no sign of abating in this strange sixth season." — The Atlantic (season 6)

5. "The Office"

Original network: NBC (2005-2013, nine seasons)

Available on Netflix: Entire series; leaving at the end of the year for Peacock

Netflix description: "This hit comedy chronicles the foibles of disgruntled office workers — led by deluded boss Michael Scott — at the Dunder Mifflin paper company.

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 81%

What critic said: "Even though its later seasons never lived up to its groundbreaking early explorations of contemporary work culture, what The Office leaves us with are memories of television comedy at its best." — The Atlantic (season 9)

4. "Riverdale"

Original network: The CW (2017-present, four seasons)

Available on Netflix: Four seasons; fourth season dropped in May

Netflix description: "While navigating the troubled waters of sex, romance, school and family, teen Archie and his gang become entangled in a dark Riverdale mystery."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 86%

What critic said: "We enter into a compact with a soap opera as viewers, agreeing to accept whatever harebrained contrivances of plot they come up with in exchange for the fun of being along for the ride." — AV Club (season 4)

3. "Schitt's Creek"

Original network: Pop TV (2015-2020, six seasons)

Available on Netflix: First five seasons; sixth and final season drops on October 7

Netflix description: "Suddenly broke, the formerly filthy-rich Rose family is reduced to living in a ramshackle motel in a town they once bought as a joke: Schitt's Creek."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 92%

What critic said: "The show has been noted widely for its particular mix of gooey warmth and sardonic wit, but the uncertainty of these times might make it an ideal rewatch option." — The Hollywood Reporter (season 6)

2. "Criminal Minds"

Original network: CBS (2005-2020, 15 seasons)

Available on Netflix: First 12 seasons

Netflix description: "This intense police procedural follows a group of extraordinary FBI profilers who spend their days getting into the minds of psychopathic criminals."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critic said: N/A

1. "Grey's Anatomy"

Original network: ABC (2005-present, 16 seasons)

Available on Netflix: First 16 seasons; latest season dropped in May

Netflix description: "Intern (and eventual resident) Meredith Grey finds herself caught up in personal and professional passions with fellow doctors at a Seattle hospital."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%

What critic said: "It's fall finale time for Grey's Anatomy, which means viewers were probably expecting some bombshells — and they were not disappointed." — Refinery 29 (season 16)

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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