In determining the most popular shows on television for current seasons Nielsen Ratings used to be the gold standard. Now, viewing habits have changed as audiences are able to watch their favorite programming at their convenience. Watching broadcast television shows is so much easier this way because you don’t have to be home exactly when they air.
This fact makes it a snap for people to binge watch their favorite shows whenever they want to. There is some data to show that certain television shows do better in some states than in others. In looking at a map of the United States there are some logical connections about why certain states enjoy specific shows. For example, it’s probably a pretty obvious guess that a political show like House of Cards is very well watched in the Washington D.C. area. Or that Florida might tune in for Bloodline, which is a show about a powerfully wealthy family that lives in the Florida Keys.
Using Google Trends data, let’s take a closer look at what everyone is watching across the United States. The shows analyzed are only ones that have premiered in the 2017 Fall season and of those 17 programs, only 5 won across the 50 states.
Hover over each state to see the winning program and the network on which it airs.
5th Place: "9JKL"
This CBS comedy series that just premiered in October 2017 stars Mark Feuerstein as a down on his luck actor who travels back to New York City, from LA, to live with his family in an apartment next door after his divorce. That’s why the show is called “9JKL” because his parents live in “9J” and his brother lives in “9L,” with his new wife and baby. Award-winning actors, Elliot Gould and Linda Lavin play the parents of “Josh” and basically, the show is based on Mark’s real-life living next to his family while he shot the show, Royal Pains for the USA Network.
When looking at a map of where this show is popular, it seems that audience members in Wyoming like it the best out of all of the new shows. Plus, there is also a devoted following in Vermont, which makes sense, since that’s the state which is just to the east of New York. In looking at the ratings for this show in the all-important 18-49-year-old demographic, it’s unclear whether this show will return for the 2018 season, but CBS will be deciding this show’s fate very soon.
4th Place: "Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders"
In looking at the map, apparently, Texas and California love a good crime drama. It might help that the actual Menendez murders took place in California back in 1989 in Beverly Hills. This offshoot of the Law and Order television series takes a look at Lyle and Erik Menendez when they killed both of their parents and the high profile trial that followed.
In the series, Edie Falco plays their attorney, Leslie Abramson who tries to put together a defense that includes sexual abuse of the boys by their dad as a possible motive for the crime. A entertaining look into a sensational crime that rocked the nation when it happened is what Law and Order True Crime is all about. The real Menendez brothers are still in separate prisons today, but the show seems to paint a very sympathetic picture of two young men who didn’t have any other option than to murder their abusive parents. If this show comes back next season, it will probably feature a completely different, but infamous, crime that captured the nation's attention.
3rd Place: "Seal Team"
States like Mississippi, Maine, North Dakota, and of course Virginia love the new show, Seal Team. It does make sense that all of these states would be very interested in this show because there is a lot of military personnel in those areas on active duty military bases. This show is also a hit in Washington D.C. as well.
Seal Team is a brand new show that premiered this season on CBS and is the story of an elite team of Navy SEALs, starring David Boreanaz of Bones, and Max Thieriot, and Jessica Pare, who you may recognize from the AMC show Mad Men. With 22 episodes airing this 2017-2018, it still remains to be seen whether or not this show will be renewed for next season.
2nd Place: "The Brave"
Another military drama on the list coming from NBC is The Brave. This show stars Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, and Tate Ellington. Taking a peek at where this show is most popular on the map, it’s mainly in New Mexico and across the Northwest in states like Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. There is a very simple reason why it’s so popular in New Mexico. The show is filmed in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, so it’s a natural fit that people there would be interested in seeing this television series. It employs about 600 New Mexico crew members and around 4,000 extras from the area. All of those people clearly tuned in to watch this show when it premiered in September 2017.
1st Place: "The Good Doctor"
This is probably the most highly rated of all the newly watched show on television this 2017 season. The Good Doctor does very well across most of the United States, but especially throughout Middle America and the East coast from Florida up to New York. This is a smart show that chronicles the journey of a top-notch surgeon who has autism.
For ABC, it’s been a rating powerhouse since it premiered in September 2017. Freddie Highmore stars as the doctor, Shaun Murphy, who is a surgical resident at San Jose’s St. Bonaventure Hospital in California. It’s a little odd looking at the map that this show doesn’t rate higher in California because it’s set there. Either way, The Good Doctor is probably a lock to come back for a second season next year.