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These are the most-watched TV shows in every state during the coronavirus pandemic

Published May 25th, 2020 6:36PM EDT
Most Watched TV Shows
Image: Warner Bros.

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  • Bingeing TV series is one of the most popular activities people are staying busy with during quarantines and the shelter-at-home period of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • That inspired one site to track the most-watched TV shows in all 50 states.
  • Most people are watching old favorites like Friends during the pandemic, according to

If you asked most Americans for a list of activities they’ve been doing the most often during the coronavirus pandemic so far, in this strange time of quarantines and social distancing, no question that streaming TV shows will be at or near the top of the list.

Despite scores of temporary production shutdowns, streamers like Netflix are still adding new series at a pretty regular clip, which is why among the most-watched TV shows on Netflix right now are series that it’s just added, like Sweet Magnolias (as well as new seasons of existing shows, like the just-added sophomore season of Dead To Me). Meanwhile, plenty of people are gravitating to old favorites as well, like Friends and The Office, as a new survey by of the most popular shows during the coronavirus pandemic reveals.

The survey, which asked around 7,000 “housebound viewers” what they’re watching the most right now, identified the most popular TV show during the pandemic for all 50 states — with some results that might surprise you.

For example, the show listed as the most popular in the most number of states isn’t a new series. It’s actually Friends, which rolled off of Netflix this year to join the lineup of HBO Max, a new streamer from WarnerMedia launching on Wednesday.

Another surprising tidbit from the survey (at least to me) — while there were several TV shows that actually debuted during the pandemic, and one particular Netflix show about a colorful, gun-toting exotic animal showman comes to mind, none of them rated highly enough to top the list of most-watched shows in a particular state. These new series that nevertheless did at least show up in the polling results to one degree or another included Tiger King, The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart, #BlackAF, The Midnight Gospel, and Too Hot to Handle.

In terms of the methodology used to come up with these rankings, the results of which you can see in the graphic above to check out your state’s favorite show, the website surveyed a total of 6,852 respondents and asked what they were watching while sheltering at home. “The most popular titles were then analyzed using Google Trends data to discover which shows each region of the US was searching between March 1, 2020, and April 21, 2020,” the site explains.

Here’s the full rundown in list form, in case you need some ideas for new series to add to your quarantine binge-list:

Alabama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Alaska Rick and Morty
Arizona Rick and Morty
Arkansas Gilmore Girls
California Friends
Colorado Rick and Morty
Connecticut This Is Us
Delaware Game of Thrones
District of Columbia Breaking Bad
Florida Friends
Georgia Friends
Hawaii Parks and Recreation
Idaho Rick and Morty
Illinois Chicago P.D.
Indiana Criminal Minds, The Walking Dead (tie)
Iowa The Big Bang Theory, This Is Us (tie)
Kansas Supernatural
Kentucky The Walking Dead
Louisiana Friends
Maine Gilmore Girls, Shameless (tie)
Maryland Friends
Massachusetts Friends
Michigan Shameless
Minnesota Friends, This Is Us (tie)
Mississippi Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Missouri The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Ozark (tie)
Montana The Vampire Diaries
Nebraska The Office
Nevada Rick and Morty
New Hampshire Friends
New Jersey This Is Us
New Mexico Breaking Bad, Rick and Morty (tie)
New York Friends
North Carolina Friends
North Dakota The Office
Ohio Friends, NCIS (tie)
Oklahoma Gilmore Girls
Oregon Star Trek
Pennsylvania Chicago P.D.
Rhode Island This Is Us
South Carolina The Walking Dead
South Dakota The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Shameless (tie)
Tennessee Criminal Minds
Texas Friends
Utah How I Met Your Mother, The Office (tie)
Vermont Seinfeld
Virginia Friends
Washington Star Trek
West Virginia Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, The Walking Dead (tie)
Wisconsin Shameless
Wyoming Grey’s Anatomy, Supernatural (tie)
Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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