The top-rated shows of 2022 have been revealed — and surprisingly, Stranger Things didn’t take the top spot.
In the data provided to , the hugely successful Netflix series only secured third place in the rankings. IMDb’s Highest Rated Comeback Series of the Year So Far (opens in new tab). Given how popular the supernatural show’s latest entry – Stranger Things season 4 – has been with audiences, this might come as a shock to TV aficionados.
So which shows stymied Stranger Things’ advances to claim first and second place? Two of Netflix’s rivals from Stranger Things, oddly enough. According to IMDb ratings, Peaky Blinders and Better Call Saul – both of which returned this year with their sixth and final season – took the top spot ahead of Stranger Things. The duo currently hold 8.8 out of 10 ratings among the IMDB user base, with Stranger Things just behind the pair with an 8.7 out of 10 rating.
As surprising as it is to see Stranger Things lose the top spot to its Netflix cousins, the streaming giant will be delighted to see so many of its TV offerings make the IMDb top 10 comeback series list. Of the shows listed, six are available on Netflix – confirmation that despite their recent woes, Netflix is still the queen of the streaming scene. The other Netflix offerings to make the list? Love, Death and Robots, plus The Last Kingdom.
The Boys and Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs Maisel also made the list – the duo tied with Stranger Things at 8.7 out of 10. Meanwhile, HBO Max’s Euphoria and family drama This Is Us – the NBC series that is also available on Disney Plus – rounded off the top 10.
Stranger Things may only have secured the bronze position on the IMDb rankings, but it’s possible the show could eventually usurp Peaky Blinders and Better Call Saul. The second part of season 4 was released on July 1st, so it could receive a ranking boost (and move up to first) if viewers consider its final two episodes to be the best entries of the season so far. If you watched these episodes over the launch weekend, be sure to check out our Season 4 Volume 2 Final Explainer, where we cover everything you need to know about the ending of Stranger Things 4.
Analytics: Turning Data Upside Down?
As intriguing as IMDb’s top-rated comeback show data is, it doesn’t paint the full picture of the streaming landscape.
For one, IMDb only considered multi-season shows for this dataset. Each series on this list has two or more seasons, so it’s hard to determine how these TV series compare to shows premiering in 2022.
If we factor new shows into the equation – again, using IMDb User Scores (opens in new tab) – there is only one other series (besides the aforementioned duo) that ranks better than Stranger Things. Once again, it’s another Netflix show, with the popular Heartstopper equaling Peaky Blinders and Better Call Saul’s ratings of 8.8 out of 10. Meanwhile, Apple TV Plus’ excellent sci-fi offering Severance joins Stranger Things in the score range of 8.7 out of 10.
However, taking into account all 20 scores, Stranger Things season 4 would actually be the fourth highest rated series of 2022 so far. Heartstopper, Peaky Blinders and Better Call Saul would share the top spot in a 2022 combined show on IMDb, with Stranger Things and Severance forced to settle for fourth.
Again, though, that doesn’t tell the whole story. IMDb isn’t the only place viewers can rate TV shows, with other review aggregator sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, being so important in determining how a series is perceived among audiences globally.
Interestingly, though, Stranger Things isn’t the highest-rated comeback series of 2022 on Rotten Tomatoes either. The show created by the Duffer brothers has a 90% certified fresh grade (opens in new tab) among Rotten Tomatoes users, but is unable to take down Peaky Blinders (93%), Heartstopper (98%) and Better Call Saul here (96%) here. Even Severance (93%) and the original series Hulu Only Murders in the Building (92%) are ranked higher than the fourth season of Stranger Things.
Of course, there’s still time for Stranger Things 4 to snatch the top spot from its competitors. As we said earlier, the show’s latest episodes can boost their rating if fans feel they’re worthy enough to do so. Likewise, though, volume 2 may not be the finale that fans were hoping to see from season 4, which could see its rating drop. These are the dangers of review aggregator sites.
Still, Stranger Things season 4 can keep its head up. His most recent entry is a return to form after a good but not great third season, as well as setting a new record recently. Its 7.2 billion minutes viewed in the week of May 30 to June 5 set a new benchmark for streaming analytics firm Nielsen (for The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)), with the 5 billion minutes viewed of Tiger King and Ozark taking a distant second.
Stranger Things may not have claimed the top-rated TV show crown, but it more than earned its most recent feat. Expect it to reclaim the top spot on Netflix’s top 10 lists in the near future as well.