This past Fourth of July, Netflix finally hit us with the long-awaited and much-anticipated third season of The Duffer Brothers' hit TV series, Stranger Things. And today it looks like Stranger Things season 3 has racked up record viewership over its first four days. In fact, the streaming giant is claiming that more member households have viewed the new season of Stranger Things after four days than any other Netflix original.

Go figure, Netflix is not releasing the average audience or the total number of viewers for a given episode. But that said, today the streaming giant is reporting that Stranger Things season 3 has been watched by 40.7 million member accounts, which the streaming platform says is the most massive audience a Netflix original has ever accumulated in such a short period of time. For the record, a Netflix account watching 70 percent of a film or 70 percent of one episode of a series counts as a "view."

Anyhow, on top of that staggering number, Netflix is also reporting that 18.2 million members have already finished the eight-episode third season. This amount is a significant step up from the previous season of Stranger Things which is said to have snagged an average of 8.8 million U.S. viewers in the first three days of release back in October 2017.

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To give Stranger Things 3's 40.7 million views a little perspective, as of the first quarter of 2019, Netflix has about 149 million global subscribers. Back in January, Netflix reported that You and Sex Education were heading towards a worldwide total of 40 million views in their first months. And in April, The Umbrella Academy was viewed by 45 million members worldwide in a month. Needless to say, Stranger Things 3 has bested even those stellar numbers in less than a week.

Now, I don't know about you, but these reported ratings make sense to me. After all, as a fan of the series, I think the recent third season is hands down the best season of the series thus far. And best of all, the new season brought out some killer new characters such as Maya Hawke as Robin, Cary Elwes as Mayor Larry Kline, Jake Busey as Bruce Lowe, and Francesca Reale as Heather Holloway.

On top of those welcomed new characters, Stranger Things 3 saw the return of some of our favorite characters such as Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Jim Hopper, Finn Wolfhard as Michael "Mike" Wheeler, and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven / Jane Hopper. Caleb McLaughlin joined them once again as Lucas Sinclair, along with Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Sadie Sink as Maxine "Max" Mayfield, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, and Joe Keery as Steve Harrington. Dacre Montgomery had a more substantial role this season as Billy Hargrove, along with more significant parts for fan favorites Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair, and Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler.

The Duffer Brothers directed Stranger Things 3 along with Shawn Levy, and Uta Briesewitz from a series of screenplays The Duffers wrote along with William Bridges, Kate Trefey, Paul Dichter, and Curtis Gwinn. Stranger Things 3 is now streaming over on Netflix. This rating update comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.

Mike Sprague