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By the Numbers: Which Netflix Shows Have Run for 5 Seasons or Longer?

Among the hundreds of Netflix original series, only a handful have made it past Season 4.
  • Photos: Netflix
    Photos: Netflix

    For a streaming platform that's put out as much content for as many years as Netflix, it would probably surprise most casual observers to learn that it has produced only eight original scripted shows that have lasted five seasons or longer. Add in unscripted, and another seven shows join the list.

    What's more, the five-season threshold seems to have become an increasingly tough bar to clear. While current shows like Big Mouth and Elite have already hit the five-season mark — and shows like The Crown and Stranger Things will make five seasons when they release their next batches of episodes — new long-running series are increasingly rare. These days even the platform's hits are being cut down after four seasons (Never Have I Ever, Ozark, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and The Umbrella Academy, among them).

    So which Netflix shows have crossed the five-season threshold to date, and how did they get there? You've come to the right place.

    (Note that we're using Netflix's sometimes confusing definition of "season," which is to say that seasons released in multiple parts count as a single season. So, even though The Ranch released 80 episodes in eight parts, its official four season order makes it ineligible for this list.)

    House of Cards
    Seasons: 6
    Episodes: 73
    The long and winding road for Netflix's breakthrough original drama was not an un-complicated one, but Beau Willimon's series was already a member of Netflix's five-season club before Kevin Spacey's sexual misconduct scandal led to his dismissal. With Robin Wright's Claire Underwood at the center of the show, it lasted one more season before wrapping up in the fall of 2018.

    Orange Is the New Black
    Seasons: 7
    Episodes: 91
    One of the very few Netflix originals to enjoye both a long run and end on its own terms. Jenji Kohan's prison drama was a sensation when it debuted, and it was put through relentless cycles of backlash, hype, and critical reassessment (and re-reassessment) as it went along. Regardless, it launched the careers of Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley, and Laverne Cox, and perhaps best of all, it got to wrap things up in an incredibly satisfying and emotionally impactful way.

    Grace and Frankie
    Seasons: 7
    Episodes: 94
    When Grace and Frankie recently ended its run, it felt like the end of an era for Netflix. The last of the long and leisurely open-ended series. Grace and Frankie was never an urgent show: you never had to make sure you binged a season quickly lest you get spoiled. But it reunited Hollywood legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin and let them go off about aging, sexuality, and a whole host of other subjects. It's the kind of series that could probably have kept going indefinitely, although one can understand why Tomlin and Fonda might not have wanted that. However, they are co-starring in a new film, Moving On, that's playing the festival circuit this fall, so maybe that Grace & Frankie magic will live on after all.

    Fuller House
    Seasons: 5
    Episodes: 75
    What a moment in time this was. Remember early 2016? The idea of reviving Full House as a semi-winking but still fully corny throwback to the TGIF '90s flipped everybody out, as this was before we'd all resigned ourselves to the idea that the entirety of television history was about to be remixed, rebooted, and redone. In that way, Fuller House was something of a canary in a coal mine, and while it lasted well longer than its moment as a media sensation — guest star Lori Loughlin's college admissions scandal kind of overshadowed the final season — its 75 episode-long run was incredibly robust.

    BoJack Horseman
    Seasons: 6
    Episodes: 77
    Premiering in 2014, the year after House of CardsBojack Horseman was the show that proved that Netflix could build a cult hit that eventually went semi-mainstream. It's understandable that it took a while for people to warm to the premise: It's a show about anthropomorphized animals in a simulacrum of Hollywood, playing out the depressed and damaged lives of former stars and wannabe Hollywood professionals. Eventually, however, viewers realized it was transcendent. The show earned its kudos bit by bit, eventually becoming an award winner and staple of critics' year-end Top 10 lists.

    F Is for Family
    Seasons: 5
    Episodes: 44
    After BoJack Horseman, Netflix began to invest more in adult animation, including this "King of the Hill but for northeast Irish Catholics in the '70s" show from creators Bill Burr and Michael Price. It featured an all-star voice cast that included eventual Oscar winners Laura Dern and Sam Rockwell, as well as Justin Long and American Idol finalist Haley Reinhart. It wrapped in 2021 after five seasons of strong reviews, even if it never enjoyed the acclaim of a BoJack or a Big Mouth.

    Chef's Table
    Seasons: 6 (ongoing)
    Episodes: 38
    A longtime pillar of Netflix's food programming, Chef's Table profiles the lives and kitchens of a variety of acclaimed chefs from all over the world, introducing its audience to various cuisines and culinary traditions. The series was created by director David Gelb as a follow-up to his feature film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and over the years it has been nominated for several Emmy awards, in addition to multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation.

    Last Chance U
    Episodes: 38
    This football docuseries follows the lives of the players at junior college football programs — the first two seasons, as well as the fourth, took place in Mississippi, while other seasons were set in Kansas and Oakland, California. The show focuses on players who'd had academic struggles and personal setbacks who were relying on the structure of the football program to get back on track. It's quite unlike anything else Netflix has going, and its success has spurred a baseball spinoff as well as talk of a feature film. 

    Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj
    Seasons: 6
    Episodes: 40
    Netflix's many attempts to enter the late-night world were met with stumbling blocks and false starts, but they scored big with former Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj, whose energetic and eclectic delivery helped him stand out during a relatively brief run from 2018 until 2020. Put an asterisk on this one if you want since the six seasons were so short and covered such a short span of time, but Minhaj was an unqualified success whose show should be seen as one of Netflix's better accomplishments.

    Big Mouth
    Seasons: 6 (ongoing)
    Episodes: 61
    This animated series from Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg became an unlikely hit for Netflix on the strength of its fearless take on the ravages and absurdities of adolescence, done with intelligence, empathy, and raunch in near-equal measure. Six seasons on (and counting), the show has spawned both specials and a spinoff in Human Resources, and it has earned a pair of Emmys for star Maya Rudolph. One of Netflix's most unambiguous success stories.

    Seasons: 6 (ongoing)
    Episodes: 48
    Netflix's Spanish-language teen thriller debuted in 2018 and has been one of the best examples of the streamer's success with scripted shows outside the English language (see also: Narcos and Squid Game).

    Somebody Feed Phil
    Seasons: 6 (ongoing)
    Episodes: 33
    A spiritual sequel to the PBS series I'll Have What Phil's Having, this reality series/travelog follows Everybody Loves Raymond executive producer Phil Rosenthal as he tours the world, visiting cities and taking in their various cuisines, from Bangkok to New Orleans to Marrakesh to Helsinki. Premiering in 2018, the show was an early standard-bearer for Netflix's increasing commitment to food-themed programming.

    Queer Eye
    Seasons: 6 (ongoing)
    Episodes: 58
    Netflix rebooted the landmark Bravo series to huge acclaim in 2018, and although it's since gone through rounds of discourse and backlash, it's still chugging along at five seasons and counting. Along the way, the production has traveled to Atlanta, Kansas City, and Austin, and in addition to the six produced seasons, the Fab Five have delivered two specials and a four-part mini-season in Japan. Season 7 is scheduled to premiere on May 12, 2023. 

    Nailed It!
    Seasons: 7 (ongoing)
    Episodes: 56
    One of Netflix's most unlikely long-running shows — and certainly the most unlikely hit to have emerged from a series of Instagram and Twitter photos of cake fails — has been Nailed It! Over the course of eight seasons (between its flagship series and two holiday-themed seasons), it has been one of Netflix's most reliable sources for comedy and delight. Host Nicole Byer has proven so adept at rolling with the horrifying confections on display that she's been nominated three straight years for the Outstanding Reality Host Emmy Award.

    Selling Sunset
    Seasons: 5 (ongoing)
    Episodes: 45
    Netflix's foray into Bravo-style reality trash has been a huge success, with the likes of Chrishell Stause and Christine Quinn taking their maybe-manufactured feud and turning it into guilty-pleasure perfection. Is Selling Sunset a good television show? It's almost impossible to say because what exactly is it even doing? Are they selling houses? Are they interacting with each other in realistic ways? It's barely a TV show at all. But it figured out how to make barely being a TV show work, and that's as important as anything in the reality sphere, so enjoy that long-running success. Season 6 premieres May 19, 2023. 

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Netflix, Big Mouth, BoJack Horseman, Chef's Table, Elite, F Is for Family, Fuller House, Grace and Frankie, House of Cards, Last Chance U, Orange Is the New Black, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, Queer Eye, Selling Sunset, Somebody Feed Phil