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‘Stranger Things 4’ breaks Netflix records

<i>Courtesy of Netflix</i><br/>Actress Millie Bobby Brown plays Eleven in
Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix
Actress Millie Bobby Brown plays Eleven in "Stranger Things." The latest season of the science-fiction horror series debuted this weekend to record numbers

By Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

Netflix’s world may be upside-down, but “Stranger Things” is still super popular.

The latest season of the science-fiction horror series debuted this weekend to record numbers, becoming Netflix’s biggest debut ever for an English-language TV show.

Netflix said that “Stranger Things 4 — Volume 1” clocked in at 286.7 million hours viewed. That surpassed the second season of “Bridgerton,” which brought in 193 million hours viewed in March.

Netflix added that the debut was the first season to reach No. 1 in 83 countries, setting another record. “Stranger Things 4” also reached the top 10 in all 93 countries that the company tracks.

This is welcome news for Netflix, which is having a terrible year. The company reported in April that it lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade. The news shocked Wall Street and sent shares plummeting. It also caused investors to doubt the future of Netflix as well as the entire streaming marketplace.

The “Stranger Things” series, which follows a group of kids and adults that battle the forces of a parallel universe, is by far Netflix’s biggest franchise. Fans have been clamoring for more after the show has been away for roughly three years.

Netflix announced in February that the current season of the series will debut in two parts this summer. The first part premiered on May 27 and the second hits July 1. The company also said that the show will conclude with season 5.

Since its come out of nowhere debut in 2016, “Stranger Things” has helped carry Netflix to where it is today. It is a cultural sensation that has extended to video games, theme park attractions, fast food items and merchandising.

The show’s creators and producers, brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, said that “Stranger Things 4” is the “most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one.”

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