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Netflix's 25th birthday: Top 10 most-streamed series

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Season 4 of "Stranger Things" has become among the most-watched Netflix series of all time. Photo courtesy of Netflix
Season 4 of "Stranger Things" has become among the most-watched Netflix series of all time. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Aug. 29 (UPI) -- While viewers have a plethora of choices today to stream content on-demand, there was one service that started it all: Netflix.

The TV giant celebrated its 25th birthday on Monday, and tweeted a video of all the changes that have been seen in the entertainment industry since 1997.

"Today is Netflix's 25th Birthday, and we want to thank the people who got us here: The Fans!" the platform said.

While Netflix aggregates its movies and television programs from dozens of networks, the service has become more well-known for its original content.

Many of these shows, such as The Queen's Gambit, You, and Inventing Anna have become social phenomenons around the world.

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Unlike some other streaming services, Netflix notably tracks its shows not by the number of individual subscribers, but by the total number of hours watched.

According to Netflix, here are the streaming service's Top 10 most-viewed TV series of all time.

10. 'The Witcher' Season 1 -- 541 million hours

Based on the book series and video games of the same name, The Witcher stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a magic monster hunter who is tasked with protecting the crown princess of his land. The series follows Geralt as he works to keep the princess safe, while also uncovering secrets about his own past. The Witcher also stars Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan, with Season 3 currently in production.

9. 'All of Us Are Dead' -- 560.8 million hours

A coming-of-age Korean zombie thriller, All of Us Are Dead stars Park Ji-hu and Yoon Chan-young as students in a high school that has been taken over by the undead. The students of the school must band together to defeat the zombies while also keeping each other alive. The series has become one of the most popular shows in Korean history, and was renewed for a second season this past June.

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8. 'Lucifer' Season 5 -- 569.5 million hours

A police fantasy drama that originally aired on Fox before moving to Netflix, Lucifer has since maintained a cult following. The show stars Tom Ellis as the titular Devil, and is based on the DC Comics version of the character. Lucifer follows the show's namesake as he runs a nightclub and becomes a Los Angeles police informant. The series' sixth and final season was released last September.

7. 'Stranger Things' Season 3 -- 582.1 million hours

Speaking of cultural phenomena created by Netflix, there may be no greater example of this than Stranger Things. One of the platform's first and most-recognizable pieces of original content, the third season of the sci-fi mystery show continued to follow the citizens of Hawkins, Ind., as they encounter supernatural beings and fearsome monsters, with returning stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown and Natalia Dyer.

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6. 'Money Heist' Part 4 -- 619 million hours

A Spanish-language heist drama, Money Heist focuses on a pair of robberies that take place in two different locations in Spain. The series stars Álvaro Morte as the mastermind of the heist group, and Úrsula Corberó as the lead bank robber. Originally premiering as a limited series on Spanish networks, Netflix has since made Money Heist one of the most-watched foreign language shows in the world, and has even spawned a Korean remake.

5. 'Bridgerton' Season 1 -- 625.5 million hours

A romantic period drama based on a Regency novel, Bridgerton became known on Netflix for its graphic sexual content, something that is rarely seen in their original programming. Season 1 starred Regé Jean-Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Adjoa Andoh and Jonathan Bailey as the series chronicled the lives of the noble Bridgerton family. The show quickly became one of Netflix's biggest-ever hits, and a third season is currently in production.

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4. 'Bridgerton' Season 2 -- 656.2 million hours

The steamy scenes continued, with even more acclaim, in Season 2 of Bridgerton. The return to the Regency-era family premiered earlier this year to a flurry of anticipation, and smashed Netflix's record as the most-viewed English-language TV series in a single week. While star Regé Jean-Page did not appear in the second season, the majority of the cast returned to the lives of the Bridgerton family, with Season 3 hot on its tails.

3. 'Money Heist' Part 5 -- 792.2 million hours

The thrilling robberies and hunts for riches continue to inspire the Spanish bank robbers in the fifth season of Money Heist. A two-part final season that premiered last September, the show's ending installment brought the stories of Álvaro Morte and Úrsula Corberó to a tumultuous close, and solidified Money Heist's place in Netflix's history as one of the platform's best-performing foreign-language pieces.

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2. 'Stranger Things' Season 4 -- 1.35 billion hours

One of only two Netflix shows to have crossed the billion-hour threshold, Season 4 of Stranger Things was released earlier this year, and featured the residents of Hawkins as the battle the fearsome Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower). Along with the slate of high-profile returning cast members, newcomers such as Bower and Joseph Quinn also received critical acclaim. A fifth and final season of the show is currently in early production.

1. 'Squid Game' -- 1.65 billion hours

The Korean-made Squid Game broke viewing records around the world for a foreign-language series, becoming a massive global sensation and one of the most-seen television programs ever. Starring Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo and Wi Ha-joon, the show revolves around a series of deadly children's games, with the winner receiving a multi-billion dollar prize. The cultural phenomenon was picked up for a second season this past June.

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