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100 million hours: Hulu shares just how much Hulu you watched in 2018

The most-watched episode across all of Hulu’s original and licensed shows came from a show generally considered to be a big ole bummer.

100 million hours: Hulu shares just how much Hulu you watched in 2018
[Photos: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Vivian Zink/NBC; The Handmaid’s Tale: George Kraychyk/Hulu; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC]

So, just how much time did you spend binge-watching shows on Hulu this year? The streaming company is happy to tell you—and either confirm or debunk your fears about just how much of your life was sucked up by the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale. 

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Today, Hulu posted its year-end viewing results on its blog, without, of course, offering any data relating to actual ratings and numbers of viewers. The biggest takeaway is that despite all the money the company is pouring into original series–it spent over $2.5 billion on overall content this year–what resonated with Hulu watchers in 2018 were the oldies but goodies that Hulu licenses from studios and networks (see: Law & Order, ER, Grey’s Anatomy). The company says that the premiere episode of season 2 of Handmaid‘s was the most watched episode of the year on the service, across all original and acquired shows. But considering the lackluster reception to the season, that doesn’t bode well for Hulu’s binge-watching stats—not that we’ll know what those numbers are. This is a streaming company, after all! 

Perhaps the most surprising nugget is that Hulu’s most popular movies of the year were Baywatch, Transformers: The Last Knight, and . . . I, Tonya. Last year’s awards contender about figure skater Tonya Harding made just $53 million at the global box office and is an edgy, indie-spirited film in every way. Certainly, it wouldn’t share a sizable crossover audience with fans of Michael Bay. And yet! 

Here are the rest of the results:

1. Hulu’s 20 million-plus subscribers streamed more than 26 million hours per day in 2018. 

2. Most watched episode across all original and licensed shows: Season 2 premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale. 

3. Most popular hospital shows: ER, Grey’s Anatomy, and Good Doctor. More than 60% of Hulu’s viewers watched the three shows combined, representing more than 100 million hours of TV.

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4. Most watched day of the year: September 23, thanks to the PGA Tour and Sunday Night Football.  

5. Most watched adult animated shows: Family Guy, South Park, and Bob’s Burgers

6. Most watched kids animated show: Teen Titans Go!

7. Most watched legal show: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2018, 258 million episodes of the show were streamed. 

8. Most watched news show on Hulu Live: NBC’s TODAY show. Viewers watched more than 6 million hours of the program. 

9. Most watched movies: Baywatch, Transformers: The Last Knight, and I, Tonya. Together the films generated 27 million streams. 

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10. Most watched shows between 8 p.m. and midnight: Bob’s Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Law and Order: SVU.

11. Most binged show (defined as a show that was watched for more than five hours on any given day): This Is Us, which accounted for more than 2 million binge sessions. 

12. Most watched sports teams on Hulu Live: Washington Capitals (NHL), New England Patriots (NFL), Georgia Bulldogs (NCAA Football), Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), and Boston Red Sox (MLB).

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About the author

Nicole LaPorte is an LA-based senior writer for Fast Company who writes about where technology and entertainment intersect. She previously was a columnist for The New York Times and a staff writer for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and Variety

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