Travis Petersen | November 17, 2020
The Most Popular TV Episodes & Shows During the Holiday Season
What role does TV play in your holiday traditions? Do you binge-watch Friends after you’ve eaten your weight in turkey? Does your family queue up The Office after you’ve opened presents? What about New Year’s Eve? Are you team action or team sci-fi as you wait for the ball to drop?
As lovers of (and, if we may say so ourselves, experts in) all things TV, the team of USDISH wanted to know which TV episodes are most popular during the holiday season. We also wanted to find the most-googled TV shows during each holiday too—so that’s exactly what we did.
We found the most popular TV episodes and shows on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, respectively. According to our findings, shows from the ‘90s are all the rage during the holidays.
If you’re team Seinfield, we hate to break it to you: Friends was each state’s most-searched TV show during the holidays, as well as the TV show that boasted the highest number of most popular episodes overall. Right behind Friends is The Office, the second-most popular TV show during the holidays.
We also found that Americans tend to watch longer episodes during Christmas and shorter episodes during Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Read on to see what else we uncovered.
- Each State’s Most-Searched TV Show During Thanksgiving
- Here are the TV Episodes Americans Watch Most on Thanksgiving
- Each State’s Most-Searched TV Show During Christmas [Coming Soon]
- Here are the TV Episodes Americans Watch Most on Christmas [Coming Soon]
- Each State’s Most-Searched TV Show During New Year’s Eve [Coming Soon]
- Here are the TV Episodes Americans Watch Most on New Year’s Eve [Coming Soon]
- According to our findings, Friends is the most popular TV show on Thanksgiving. Of the fifteen episodes that made our list, ten were Friends episodes. Friends had an astronomical budget per episode (some episodes were as high as $10 million). Luckily for NBC, it clearly paid off.
- Comedy and romance are hits around Thanksgiving. A whopping fourteen out of the top fifteen episodes are categorized as comedy. Thirteen out of the fifteen TV episodes are also categorized as romance.
- Apparently Thanksgiving is a perfect time for a little throwback TV. Seven out of the top fifteen episodes aired in the ‘90s, while six aired in the 2000s.
- The average running time of all the episodes on our list is twenty-four minutes, which is about how long it takes to make Grandma’s green bean casserole that you never eat each year.
To find the most popular TV episodes on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, we analyzed the top fifteen holiday episodes for each holiday using IMDb data.
To qualify for our analysis, each episode had to meet the following criteria:
- Contain the keywords “Thanksgiving,” “Christmas,” or “New Year’s Eve,” respectively
- Be produced between 1990–2020
- Have over 1,500 IMDb votes
- Achieve a rating of 7.5 and above
Once we narrowed down our search, we found each episode’s viewership count using the viewership archive on TV Listings. Then we ranked each episode from most popular to least-popular based on viewership.
To find the most-searched TV show in each state for November, December, and January, respectively, we analyzed Google Trends data.
|State||Popular Shows in November|
|Alaska||How I Met Your Mother|
|Connecticut||This Is Us|
|Delaware||This Is Us|
|District Of Columbia||This Is Us|
|Georgia||This Is Us|
|Hawaii||How I Met Your Mother|
|Iowa||This Is Us|
|Louisiana||This Is Us|
|Maine||This Is Us|
|Maryland||This Is Us|
|Massachusetts||This Is Us|
|Mississippi||The Big Bang Theory|
|Nevada||The Big Bang Theory|
|New Jersey||This Is Us|
|New Mexico||The Big Bang Theory|
|New York||This Is Us|
|North Carolina||This Is Us|
|Pennsylvania||This Is Us|
|Rhode Island||This Is Us|
|South Carolina||This Is Us|
|South Dakota||The Big Bang Theory|
|Wisconsin||The Big Bang Theory|
|Wyoming||How I Met Your Mother|
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