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The Best Netflix Original Series 

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Updated April 8, 2020 331.9k votes 31.7k voters 421.4k views 277 items

List Rules Only Netflix original programs, including individual seasons of series that initially aired on network TV

For years, Netflix has been the go-to way to watch your favorite shows and movies from the comfort of your own home. Initially a DVD rental company, Netflix quickly evolved to allow subscribers to have instant entertainment, including films, entire series, documentaries, and other programming. Want to watch your favorite TV show or movie? Cancel the drive to the closest Redbox. Instead, just login to your Netflix account and press Play.

In 2013, Netflix launched its first original series, House of Cards, which featured a star-studded cast and opened to rave reviews. Now, the Netflix streaming service offers original programming with innovative new television shows that are competition for even the most prestigious, long-established networks.

What is the best Netflix original series? The shows on this list may never have been made had it not been for Netflix’s ability to take risks. Their completely new shows like Orange Is the New Black and Master of None have been getting rave reviews and drawing in excited audiences from all over the world. Shows like Arrested Development got the chance to have an extra season of episodes that network TV would never be brave enough to air.

The television series on this list are each examples of Netflix’s potential to outdo every cable network in creativity and entertainment, so it's not hard to see how they make money. What are your favorite Netflix originals? You can also check out this list of 2019 Netflix shows and Netflix original dramas to know what programs you should plan on binging in the near future. 

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1
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Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard

Premiered: 2016

Number of Seasons: 2

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Horror, Supernatural, Period drama

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by The Duffer Brothers. When a young boy (Noah Schnapp) disappears, his mother (Winona Ryder), ...more

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2
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LanaYoshii added Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 26

Genres (Tv): Drama

Daredevil (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Drew Goddard, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Blind lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) ...more

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3
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nmiguelcosta added Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Genres (Tv): Drama

Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the Marvel Comics character. Following the tragic end of her brief superhero career, ...more

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4
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Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook, Pedro Pascal

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 20

Genres (Tv): Biography, Crime, Drama

Narcos (Netflix, 2015) is an American drama web-television series created by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro. A chronicled look at the exploits of Colombian Pablo Escobar, as well ...more

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5
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Netflix Original Series
JustineHeita added Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Premiered: 2017

Number of Seasons: 2

Genres (Tv): Action, Superhero, Crime drama, Conspiracy thriller

Marvel's The Punisher (Netflix, 2017) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Steve Lightfoot. Former Force Recon officer Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), known throughout New ...more

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6
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Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Danielle Brooks

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 52

Genres (Tv): Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy

Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and first released on Netflix on July 11, 2013. The series, produced by Tilted Productions in association with ...more

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7
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Lauren Horsewood added Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 2

Genres (Tv): Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Sense8 (Netflix, 2015) is an American science fiction drama web television series created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. A group of people around the world are suddenly ...more

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8
Luke Cage is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Netflix Original Series
JezzupWuzzup added Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick

Premiered: 2016

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Genres (Tv): Action, Sci-Fi

Luke Cage (Netflix, 2016) is an American web television series created by Cheo Hodari Coker, based on the Marvel Comics character. When a sabotaged experiment gives him super strength and ...more

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9
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MichaelChoi added Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter

Genres (Tv): Superhero, Action

The Defender (Netflix, 2017) is an American web television miniseries created by Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica ...more

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10
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carlybobarly added Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Esai Morales

Premiered: 2017

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Thriller

Ozark (Netflix, 2017) is an American crime drama series created by Bill Dubuque. Financial planner Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) must suddenly relocate his family (Laura Linney) from Chicago to a ...more

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11
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Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Mara

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 52

Genres (Tv): Political drama, Political thriller

House of Cards (Netflix, 2013) is an American political drama television series developed by Beau Willimon, and an adaptation of the BBC mini-series based on the novel by Michael Dobbs. ...more

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Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy

Premiered: 2018

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Mystery, Action

Altered Carbon is an American science fiction television series created by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan. In a future where human minds are digitized and downloaded ...more

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13
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RichardBeecher added Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 26

Genres (Tv): Sitcom

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is an American sitcom created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and starring Ellie Kemper that has streamed on Netflix since March 6, 2015. Originally set for a 13-episode ...more

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14
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Timothy Olyphant, Drew Barrymore, Liv Hewson

Premiered: 2017

Number of Seasons: 1

Genres (Tv): Comedy

Santa Clarita Diet (2017) Netflix original comedy series created by Victor Fresco. Married couple Sheila and Joel (Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant) are real estate agents in Santa Clarita, ...more

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15
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MichaelChoi added Atypical Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist, Brigette Lundy-Paine
Atypical (Netflix, 2017) is a coming-of-age dark comedy television series created and written by Robia Rashid. Sam (Keir Gilchrist), an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum, looks for a ...more

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16
The Haunting of Hill Hou... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Netflix Original Series
Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas

Genres (Tv): Supernatural horror

The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix, 2018) is an American supernatural horror television series created by Mike Flanagan, based on the novel by Shirley Jackson. The first season, The Haunting of ...more

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17
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Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv

Genres (Tv): Drama

Mindhunter (Netflix, 2017) is an American drama series based on the book written by Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas. Set in the late '70s and early '80s, the series revolves around two FBI ...more

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18
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Umberhaven added Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby

Premiered: 2016

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 10

Genres (Tv): Historical drama

The Crown (Netflix, 2016) is an American-British biographical drama series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The series begins with the 1947 wedding of young Elizabeth ...more

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19
Everything Sucks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Netflix Original Series
Leah Jones added Peyton Kennedy, Jahi Winston, Patch Darragh

Genres (Tv): Comedy

Love this show! Well written characters and captures the 90's highschool scene perfectly. I want more!

Everything Sucks (Netflix, 2018) is an American television comedy series created by Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan. In 1990s Oregon, members of a high school A/V club clash with the drama

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20
A Series of Unfortunate ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Netflix Original Series
JohnCarlMcGrady added Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman

Premiered: 2017

Number of Seasons: 3

Genres (Tv): Comedy, Drama

A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017, Netflix) is a black comedy-drama TV series based on the children's novel series of the same name by Lemony Snicket (author Daniel Handler). The Baudelaire ...more

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21
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Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett

Premiered: 2003

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 68

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Arrested Development (Fox, 2003) is an American television sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz. Level-headed son Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) takes over family affairs after his father is ...more

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MichaelChoi added Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron

Premiered: 2017

Genres (Tv): Comedy-drama

GLOW (Netflix, 2017) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch. Set in 1980s Los Angeles, Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), a struggling actress, receives an ...more

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23
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Toby Stephens, Molly Parker, Ignacio Serricchio

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi

Lost in Space (Netflix, 2018) is an American science fiction web television series created by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, and a reboot of the 1965 series. After encountering a rip in ...more

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Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 26

Genres (Tv): Comedy

Grace and Frankie (Netflix, 2015) is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris. Finding out that their husbands have been romantically ...more

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George Pulido added Aziz Ansari, Noël Wells, Eric Wareheim

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 10

Genres (Tv): Comedy

Master of None (Netflix, 2015) is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang. The personal and professional life of Dev (Aziz Ansari), a 30-year-old ...more

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