With the rise of streaming platforms in the past decade, watching TV has never been easier. According to recent research, Americans spend around three hours per day in front of the TV. And with 2.7 million individual video titles available on traditional and streaming platforms, viewers are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what to watch. But, with so many on offer, which TV show has captured the hearts of most Americans?

To delve a little deeper into our TV habits, we surveyed over 2,000 Americans to uncover their favorite shows and how they watch them. We also reveal the country’s favorite genres, streaming services, and which shows people would like to see a reboot of.

Most popular TV shows


1. Criminal MindsOur survey revealed that Criminal Minds is the most-loved TV show, with over 1 in 10 (12.2%) of those surveyed voting this as their favorite watch, the highest percentage of any show in the study.

The American crime drama follows a group of criminal profilers working for the FBI. The show ran for 15 seasons before it concluded in 2020. However, due to its astounding popularity, it was revived in 2022.

Interestingly, nearly twice as many women chose the show as their favorite compared to men, with 14% of all women surveyed voting it as their top pick, compared to 7.9% of men. The series is particularly popular among the 45 to 54-year-old age bracket, as 15.5% of this age group voted for this as one of their top TV shows.
2. The Walking DeadThe Walking Dead is the second most popular TV show in the US, with 10.97% of respondents voting it as one of their all-time favorite watches. The zombie survival series, based on a comic book of the same name, kicked off in 2010 and ran for 11 seasons, before airing its final episode in 2022.

3. Family Guy and Stranger Things Family Guy and Stranger Things come next in joint third place, with 10.4% of those surveyed rating each of these as their favorite show.

Of the men surveyed, 13.8% of men said that Family Guy is their all-time favorite show, the highest percentage of all in terms of men’s preference. The animated sitcom is also particularly popular in the 25-34 age range.
4. The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory comes fourth, with 12.3% of all respondents reporting this was their favorite. The witty sitcom is slightly more popular with female viewers, as 10.4% of women voted this as one of their favorites, as opposed to 9.9% of men.

5. Grey’s AnatomyMedical drama Grey’s Anatomy ranks fifth, with 9.61% of people picking this show. 20 seasons and 420 episodes make up this popular show about surgical interns and their superiors in the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. This is a big fan favorite among the ladies, with 12.22% of women choosing it as their number one show, compared with just 3.49% of men — we’re thinking McDreamy and McSteamy might have a little something to do with that.

World-renowned sitcom Friends comes in sixth for the most popular (8.7%), followed by Breaking Bad in seventh (8.7%). Comedy-drama Shameless ranks eighth (7.9%), The Simpsons in ninth (7.8%), and American Horror Story in tenth (7.6%).

What are America’s favorite genres?From cheesy rom-com series to edge-of-your-seat horrors, there are so many genres out there to enjoy on screen. But, which TV genre comes out on top as the favorite?


Comedy is revealed to be America’s favorite genre, with almost half (45.5%) of all respondents voting this as their top choice. This was also the preferred genre among the women surveyed, with nearly half (46.4%) of all female respondents choosing this as their preferred category.

Male respondents, on the other hand, seem to lean towards action and adventure TV shows. Almost half (46%) of men surveyed chose this as their top pick, while only 26% of women voted for this genre.

For many of us, TV is a way to escape reality and avoid current affairs, as demonstrated by only 14% of all respondents expressing interest in the news, the lowest percentage out of all the categories.

Romance emerges as the least favored genre among men, with only 10.7% selecting it as one of their favorites, while 21.7% of women name it as their top choice.
The most popular TV shows by stateWe also looked at which TV shows are the most popular in each state, and interestingly, we’ve got a bit of an East Coast versus West Coast debate going on.

The East Coast is definitely more into horror when it comes to their favorite picks. The likes of New York (13.95%) and New Jersey (16.36%) voted The Walking Dead as their number one show, while people in Delaware are big fans of Black Mirror (33.33%). American Horror Story (17.86%) ranks top in Connecticut — though this is tied with Wheel of Fortune, so make of that what you will.

On the other side of the country, the West Coast seems to be more into sci-fi, with both California (20.83%) and Washington (16.67%) enjoying the supernatural delights of Stranger Things.

Meanwhile, the South is all about the laughs, with the likes of Texas (14.29%) and Lousiana (20%) loving The Big Bang Theory, and Virginia favoring Family Guy (21.74%).

And we can’t forget about the Midwest here, which seems to be going slightly against the grain when it comes to their favorite TV shows. Nebraskans are fans of the gritty crime drama Narcos, with 40% of residents here voting this as their number one show. Game of Thrones (28.57%) takes the top spot in Kansas, while Minnesota loves all things Jeopardy (21.43%) — you really can’t go wrong with a classic game show.

What are the most popular streaming platforms?


Netflix stands out as the leading streaming platform, as shown by 55.4% of respondents who use it as their primary source for watching TV shows. Originating as a rental service in the 1990s, Netflix has now transformed into a video streaming giant, clearly favored by many Americans. It’s a resounding favorite among Nebraskans, with 100% of those surveyed admitting Netflix is their go-to streaming service.

This is closely followed by The Walt Disney Company’s Hulu (41.15%) and Amazon Prime Video (38.2%). The least used of all streaming platforms is HayU, as just 2.8% of those surveyed chose this as their favorite video platform. Clearly there are fewer Real Housewives fans out there than we thought!

How long do Americans spend watching TV?


We found that when diving into their current show, respondents most commonly said they watch 3 to 4 episodes in one sitting, amounting to over half of all responses (50.4%), and a further 6.9% said they watch five or more episodes at once. If we assume each episode is 45 minutes long, that’s almost four hours of sitting on the couch each day!

While 21-24-year-olds are more likely to watch 3-4 episodes at once (61.8%), the 55+ age group prefer to watch 1-2 episodes at a time (53.2%), which is only around 1 hour 45 minutes watching TV in one sitting. Now, we don’t want to make presumptions here, but perhaps this has something to do with the older generations having a little more patience. Either that, or they aren’t used to this binge-economy we now find ourselves in, so are happy to take their time to leisurely enjoy their fav shows.
Is the US a nation of binge-watchers?


The term ‘binge-watching’, used to describe watching entire seasons in one sitting, has become part of everyday language thanks to the convenience of streaming services. But has the US been taken over by this method of watching TV (and are we actually all turning into couch potatoes)?

Well, our survey revealed that just over half (54.6%) of all respondents voted that they prefer to binge-watch TV shows rather than watch episodes weekly as they’re released, despite only 6.88% of respondents saying they watch 5+ episodes in one sitting.

Women are more likely to binge-watch than men, with 57.6% of women voting they do this, as opposed to 52% of men. Almost two-thirds (60%) of 25-34-year-olds said they prefer to binge-watch episodes, crowning this age group the biggest binge-watchers in the US. On the other end of the scale, most respondents aged 55+ said they prefer to watch episodes weekly as they are released (58.45%).

Which TV shows do people most want a reboot of?


Here in the US, we get pretty attached to some of our favorite TV shows. But, which ones are we most keen to see a reboot of?

The Walking Dead, a show set in the wake of a zombie apocalypse and follows the stories of survivors, is the series people most want a reboot of. Although the original show wrapped up in November 2022, there are various spin-off series, including the most recent release: The Ones Who Live, which premiered in February 2024.

When comparing the results based on gender, men are hoping to see a revival of Game of Thrones, whereas women are hoping for a Friends reboot. While we might not get to see the likes of Joey or Rachel on our screens again, apparently, HBO has six Game of Thrones spinoffs in development. This includes a new season of The House of the Dragon, the prequel to the series, which is coming this year, so fans don’t have to wait too much longer for a return to King’s Landing.

Other series people are hoping to see again include The Big Bang Theory, Shameless, Breaking Bad and The Vampire Diaries.

There are endless TV shows that have won our hearts - are there any of your favorite TV shows you’re hoping to get a reboot of?
MethodologySurvey was conducted on 2,014 Americans aged 21+ in March 2024.

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