Over the four-day July 4th weekend, the first episode of Stranger Things 3 has 19.2 million U.S. viewers in the average minute, up from the season 2 premiere, which had 17.7 million viewers.
On the first day it was released, episode 1 drew 8.9 million U.S. viewers, up from 7.7 million viewers for season 2. On the same day, each of the next three episodes had at least 3.6 million viewers.
Even episode 8 had 1.1 U.S. viewers and about 824,000 viewers watched the entire season on the first day.
Over the four-day weekend, season three had an average minute audience of 12.8 million U.S. viewers, up 21% from season 2.
The series reached a unique audience of about 26.4 million U.S. viewers, according to Nielsen.
For a comparison to a hit show on traditional TV, Nielsen said that the finale episode of HBO's Game of Thrones drew 15.8 million viewers in live plus seven day ratings.
Netflix closely guards most of its audience data, but earlier this week said that Stranger Things 3 was its most watched film or series. The streamer said Stranger Things 3 had been watched by more than 40 million household accounts between its July 4 launch and July 8. And it said 18.2 million had finished the entire season.
Nielsen’s numbers are different, measuring viewers rather than accounts and sticking to U.S. viewing versus worldwide consumption.