TV shows and trends
What’s playing on your screen?


of Americans like watching drama and comedy shows


of Americans prefer crime thrillers


of Americans view LGBTQ representation in shows positively

TV shows are in great demand, with traditional channels and streaming platforms competing fiercely for eyeballs. With so much variety at the viewer’s disposal, Piplsay (powered by Market Cube) conducted this nationwide study to find the latest trends defining TV entertainment space. Media networks and OTT players can leverage this data in their decision making. For an in-depth analysis of the survey responses, download the full document here.

TV shows are all the rage, with an endless pool of content available across different platforms, from cable TV to OTT services. But with so much to watch in so little time, what are American viewers picking and choosing? To find out, Piplsay polled 58,136 Americans nationwide. Here’s a summary of all the interesting insights we found.

Other Insights

  • Men watch sports and comedy the most, while women prefer drama and comedy shows
  • 23% of women are most interested in crime dramas as compared to 21% of men
  • 55% of Gen Xers and Millennials are keen to watch female-driven shows
  • 60% of Gen Zers and Millennials view LGBTQ representation in shows positively, close to 30% are unsure about it
  • 43% of white Americans are keen to watch shows on different ethnicity as compared to 51% of black Americans

What’s Your Genre?

Gone are the days when drama shows alone ruled the roost. Increasingly, American viewers are getting hooked to comedy, as revealed by the Piplsay survey. Together, both drama and comedy make up for a majority 36% of America’s TV time. However, both reality shows, as well as chat shows, surprisingly figure at the bottom of the list. While sitcoms like Big Bang Theory, Veep, and Modern Family continue to remain popular in comedy, a good 22% of Americans prefer drama series that focus on crime and investigation. The recent success of shows like Criminal Minds, Mindhunter, and Peaky Blinders is proof of that. The same goes for thrillers, where shows focussing on crime upstage those that deal with action and sci-fi.

Despite the indisputable popularity of other genres, there is no denying the fact that science fiction is increasingly becoming one of the US industry’s hottest genres. Alien life and space exploration continues to enthrall audiences even today, as revealed by the Piplsay survey, though cyberpunk shows like Black Mirror and Westworld are slowly trying to carve a space for themselves.

Diversity Much?

Coming to the diversity issue, Americans seem to be quite open about it. When asked if they would prefer watching female-driven shows, over half of the viewers said they would be keen to do so, with only 10% showing their preference for male leads. Similarly, close to 50% of viewers give importance to storylines over characters, be it with regards to their ethnicity or sexual orientation. Still, a good 50% of viewers are unsure or displeased about the increasing LGBTQ representation in TV shows.

Survey Methodology: This Piplsay survey (powered by Market Cube) was conducted nationwide in the US in the month of February 2020. We received 58,136 responses from individuals aged 18 years and older.

For deeper insights, download the detailed research report here

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