It’s hard to compare TV shows based on ratings these days, because Netflix and other streaming services don’t release audience numbers . . . and even if they did, binge-watching through subscription apps doesn’t really compare apples-to-apples with weekly TV broadcasts.
So, a data analytics company is measuring the popularity of TV shows using everything EXCEPT ratings.
They use “demand expressions,” which include illegal downloads and streams, along with ratings from fans and critics . . . positive feedback on social media and blogs . . . photo sharing, wikis, and online searches.
They’ve been collecting data for two years now, and recently put out a list of the ‘Top 10 Most Popular TV Shows in America.’ Here it is:
1. “Stranger Things 2”, Netflix
2. “The Walking Dead”, AMC
3. “Game of Thrones”, HBO
4. “Star Trek: Discovery”, CBS All-Access
5. “Preacher”, AMC
6. “Mindhunter”, Netflix
7. “The Big Bang Theory”, CBS
8. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, which is syndicated
9. “Rick and Morty”, Cartoon Network
10. “The Orville”, Fox
(Even though they’ve been collecting the data for years, this ranking is specifically for the first week in November. That’s one reason that “Stranger Things” was #1, since this was the week after its second season was unleashed.)
(Of course, there’s a decent chance it would’ve made the Top 10 for the months leading up to its release, since this is a measurement of ‘buzz.’ After all, “Game of Thrones” is #3, and it hasn’t aired new episodes since August.)