2012 Google searches: reality shows beat scripted

The TV shows people search about the most on Google are reality TV shows, though the actual shows may surprise you. Also, the most-popular reality stars people search for are on cable, such as Alana Thompson, aka Honey Boo Boo, unless they are on The Bachelor.

While no reality TV shows or stars made the overall top-10 lists, except for Whitney Houston (who died this year and, of course, was on a Bravo reality show), the top searched TV show lists are heavy with reality series.

While only American Idol made Google’s top-10 list of the most-searched TV shows, defined as those “with the largest volume of searches,” it was number one.

However, Google’s trending TV shows are those who had “the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011″ was led by and include a majority of reality TV shows:

  1. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
  2. The Voice
  3. American Idol
  4. Big Brother 14
  5. X Factor
  6. 666 Park Avenue
  7. Alcatraz
  8. Dance Moms
  9. The New Normal
  10. Switched At Birth

That’s somewhat surprising, especially that Big Brother 14 came in so high, even though we all know that fans of the CBS reality series are highly active online. And that 666 Park Avenue, now cancelled, generated so much search traffic is pretty remarkable/weird.

Here are Google’s trending reality stars:

  1. Alana “Honey Boo Boo”
  2. Snooki
  3. Farrah Abraham
  4. Kim Kardashian
  5. Brittany Kerr
  6. Jef Holm
  7. Emily Maynard
  8. Giuliana Rancic
  9. Kourtney Kardashian
  10. Courtney Robertson

Interesting that there are three Bachelor stars and zero from any other network reality series. And I’m just going to pretend that I don’t live in a world where so many people are still searching for Snooki and the Kardashians.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.