Exclusive: The Most Popular TV Shows, January 2018

Sure, 'Game of Thrones' is big, but no one saw Bean coming.


The television landscape has never been busier, so a television making its way to the Top 20 is quite a feat. But how does one measure popularity. Parrot Analytics doesn’t only use ratings to measure a show’s global impact, they also measure the popularity of a given show in average demand expressions per capita. Parrot describes this as “the total audience demand being expressed for a title, within a country, on any platform, per 100 capita.”

In addition to viewership, this takes into account things like social media engagement, with more weight being given to more important actions like watching a series, versus simply commenting on a video. The company has exclusively shared its findings with Inverse for the top 20 hottest shows as of the end of January 2018. Here’s what they discovered.

Kathryn Winnick as Lagertha


1. Vikings

Since the analysis in the fall, Vikings began its fifth season and skyrocketed its score, beating out some of television’s biggest shows. It currently has an average demand expressions per capita 15.22, which is up from 5.23. The History channel series, which is already renewed for a sixth season, ended the first half of its current season on November 29, 2017.

'Stranger Things'


2. Stranger Things

The long-awaited return of Netflix series Stanger Things resulted in a substantial boost in popularity. The score at the end of September, which was 4.06 average demand expressions per capita, was taken right before the show returned on October 27, 2017. The new batch of episodes resulted in a higher score of 13.22.

'Game of Thrones'


3. Game of Thrones

With the seventh season’s end on August 27, 2017, there was an understandable drop in the Games of Thrones’ score. It went from 25.89 average demand expressions per capita at the end of September to a 12.66. What kept the series high on the list could be general interest or the announcement of the final season premiering in 2019.

'The Walking Dead' (2017)


4. The Walking Dead

While The Walking Dead did fall lower on the list, its average demand expressions per capita increased since last Fall. It went from 9.07 to 10.20. At the end of the September fans were gearing up for the first half of the season, which aired from October 22 ,2017 to December 10, 2017. Fans are also getting ready for the series to return on February 25, 2018.

Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch, and Mayim Bialik in 'The Big Bang Theory'


5. The Big Bang Theory

CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory saw a bump in average demand expressions per capita from 5.40 to 7.93. The success of new spinoff Young Sheldon and star Johnny Galecki’s statement that the show would likely end after its 12th season could account for the increase since the 5.40 score was calculated after the current season premiere.

'Grey's Anatomy'


6. Grey’s Anatomy

Midway through the current 14th season of Grey’s Anatomy the score went from 6.23 at the of Septemeber to 7.48 at the end of January. The increase in average demand expressions per capita occurred as news of star Ellen Pompeo extended her deal with ABC, part of which is to continue on the longtime medical drama.

'The Flash'

The CW

7. The Flash

Compared to the lead up of The Flash’s fourth season, the show has garnered more interest since it’s first airing. The current average demand expressions per capita score is 6.48, which is up from 3.68 at the end of September before the season began.



8. Lucifer

Making its debut on the list is Fox series Lucifer. The series’ average demand expressions per capita score was 6.40 at the end of January. The show’s current third season included the return of Tom Welling to television, who landed a series regular role.

Stephen Amell as Green Arrow on 'Arrow'.

The CW

9. Arrow

Arrow made a leap from 20th place, which was its ranking in the fall. At the end of September, The CW show had a 2.99 as the season premiere approached. Now midway through its sixth season, the show has an average demand expressions per capita score of 5.46.

'Black Mirror'


10. Black Mirror

Netflix’s second season of Black Mirror premiered at the end of the 2017 and the impact it made landed it on this list. The show’s score was 5.31 average demand expressions per capita. Netflix bought the show from British network Channel 4 after 4 seasons had aired. The show’s sixth premiered December 29,2017.



11. Shameless

Veteran series Shameless cracked the Top 20 with a score of 5.16. The Showtime comedy’s eighth season ran from November 5, 2017 to January 28, 2018.

'Star Trek: Discovery' 


12. Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek’s return to television is maintaining its place in the ranking of television shows. Star Trek: Discovery had a score of 4.00 at the end of September and at the end of January, with two episodes left in the season, the show scored 4.95.

'Mr. Bean'

Endemol Shine Worldwide Distribution

13. Mr. Bean

Animated series Mr. Bean ranked in the Top 20 with 4.94 its average demand expressions per capita. The show began in 2002 with its third season ending on June 2, 2004. It was brought back for a 52-episode season that ran from 2015-2016. There are more episodes, 26 to be exact, slated to air in 2019.

'La Casa De Papel'


14. La Casa De Papel

Spanish series *La casa de papel made a splashy debut, according to its average demand expressions per capita score. The thriller aired in Spain earlier in 2017, but was made available on Netflix on December 25, 2017. It earned a 4.90.

20th Century Fox

15. Prison Break

Prison Break has maintained its level of popularity from the fall. At the end of September 2017, months after the revival season aired, the show had 4.35 average demand expressions per capita. At the end January 2018, the show’s popularity bumped up a tiny bit to 4.86.

KJ Apa as Archie in "Riverdale" 

The CW

16. Riverdale

The shenanigans happening in the town of Riverdale has garnered the show’s popularity. After not ranking on the list in the fall, The CW has 4.60 average demand expressions per capita. Recently the world of Riverdale expanded to include Sabrina Spellman and while that show is headed to Netflix, its connection to Riverdale stands.

'The End Of The F***ing World'


17. The End Of The F**ing World*

Dark comedy The End Of The F**ing World* was another new popular series that landed on the list. The Netflix series got 4.46 average demand expressions per capita. There’s no word on a second season yet, but the star and writer have expressed interest in continuing the story. Seems like the public would love more of the comedy.

'The Grand Tour'


18. The Grand Tour

Popular Amazon series The Grand Tour’s return to television maintained a high level of interest from audiences. The motoring series’ first episode became Amazon Video’s most-watched premiere episode in 2016. It’s 2017 return resulted in a 4.38 average demand expressions per capita at the end of January.

'The Good Doctor'


19. The Good Doctor

The Good Doctor was one of the fall’s biggest new broadcast television shows. The other being Young Sheldon. The medical drama brought Freedie Highmore back to television just after his stint on Bates Motel. The freshmen drama has 4.30 average demand expressions per capita.

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles in 'Supernatural' 

The CW

20. Supernatural

You don’t get to 13 seasons without maintaining substantial popularity, so Supernatural appearing on the list is not a huge surprise. It had a 3.03 average demand expressions per capita at the end of September and increased to 4.28 at the end of January 2018.

We may have a new show in the top spot now, but Vikings current season is coming to an end, so one of the bigger shows like The Walking Dead could jump up with its season continuing this month. Plus, people’s enthusiasm for Games of Thrones, and interest in news about its possible spinoffs, could take it back to number 1.

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