I watch a truly asinine amount of TV. Working from home, I have the TV on all day long as white noise. Sometimes I’m paying attention, other times it’s just there so I’m not working in complete silence. When the workday ends, I keep watching. I’m actually watching The Watchmen season finale on HBO right now as I type this out. The cycle never ends.
Good TV. Bad TV. I’m not terribly discerning. I watch everything on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, AMC, etc. I could hit you with a list of my favorite TV shows this year but I’ll cut it down to just Fleabag Season 2 being on a pedestal above everything else.
I’ll even dabble in reality TV from time to time. Some friends from FSU/college are currently on Below Deck so I checked that out recently. In 2018, I made a list of every TV series I’d watched that year but it got so damn long I scrapped it because it would’ve been borderline embarrassing to share with the public. This year I didn’t even bother trying.
But you know what I haven’t watched? A single damn one of these ten most-watched TV episodes of the past decade. Not one.
The crew over at The Hollywood Reporter listed out the 10 most-watched series broadcasts of the past decade along with the 10 most-watched awards shows, 10 most-watched news events, and the most-watched sporting events. I watched most of the awards shows, news events, and all the sporting events but didn’t see a single damn one of the 10 most-watched TV episodes. Here’s the list:
Undercover Boss* (CBS), Feb. 7, 2010: 38.66 million viewers
The Voice* (NBC), Feb. 5, 2012: 37.61 million
American Idol (Fox), Jan. 12, 2010: 29.95 million
American Idol, May 25, 2011: 29.25 million
Two and a Half Men (CBS), Sept. 19, 2011: 28.74 million
American Idol, Feb. 9, 2010: 27.91 million
This Is Us* (NBC), Feb. 4, 2018: 26.99 million
American Idol, Jan. 20, 2010: 26.86 million
Glee* (Fox), Feb. 6, 2011: 26.81 million
American Idol, Jan. 13, 2010: 26.42 million
Who the fuck is watching Undercover Boss? Who? I’ve never met a single person who has talked about this show. Ever. At any point in my life. But 38.66 MILLION people watched a single episode?!
As you can imagine, the Super Bowl straight up dominates the sports rankings. Here’s how the past decade shakes out with the 10 most-watched non-Super Bowl events below: “The Super Bowls of the 2010s have the following all-time ranks for U.S. TV broadcasts, in terms of total viewers: First (2015), second (2014), third (2016), fourth (2012), fifth (2017), sixth (2011), seventh (2013), eighth (2010), 10th (2018) and 13th (2019).”
Here’s what the non-Super Bowl list looks like:
Summer Olympics opening ceremony (NBC), July 27, 2012: 40.65 million viewers
World Series game seven (Fox), Nov. 2, 2016: 40.05 million
Summer Olympics, July 31, 2012: 38.72 million
Summer Olympics, Aug. 2, 2012: 36.7 million
Summer Olympics, July 29, 2012: 36.05 million
Summer Olympics, Aug. 9, 2016: 33.44 million
College Football Playoff Championship (ESPN), Jan. 12, 2015: 33.4 million
Winter Olympics opening ceremony (NBC), Feb. 12, 2010: 32.66 million
Winter Olympics opening ceremony, Feb. 7, 2014: 31.69 million
Summer Olympics, July 30, 2012: 31.58 million
They have a full list of the 50 most-watched TV events of the past decade. The top 10 are all Super Bowls and after that, it goes to Presidential Debates for a bit. You can see their full list by clicking here and heading on over to The Hollywood Reporter.