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The surprising, odd list of 2015’s most-searched reality shows

The surprising, odd list of 2015’s most-searched reality shows
Todd and Julie Chrisley in a season 3 episode of Chrisley Knows Best, which trended more than any other reality show last year. (Photo by Bob Mahoney/USA Network)

In Google’s Year in Search 2015, its lists of the most frequently searched and trending terms last year, there are many interesting things to explore, and the lists of searched reality TV shows offers several surprises.

Yes, it’s not surprising that 19 Kids and Counting was the most-searched reality show last year, thanks to the Duggar scandal and TLC’s abysmal response to it, nor that broadcast shows dominate the list of most-searched terms. But only one broadcast show, Bachelor in Paradise, trended.

But these aren’t perfect and are even strange. Among the shows on both lists is Scream Queens, the VH1 series that aired in 2008, presumably confused with Scream Queens, the Ryan Murphy scripted series that debuted on Fox last year. So, it’s probably safe to exclude that entirely. In the list of most-searched shows, Big Brother is listed twice, apparently because the algorithm confused the show and the “adapted work.”

That illustrates the problems of algorithms figuring these things out, but there’s still so much interesting data to explore.

For example, search volume for Survivor was highest in Maine, and “Survivor Joe” was the only cast member to make the top-10 list of related search phrases. Married at First Sight, which made both lists, was most popular in New Jersey, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania.

Here are the full lists with networks; the charts that follow are clickable to dig into the data.

Trending reality shows, 2015

via Google Trends

  1. Chrisley Knows Best, USA
  2. Married at First Sight, FYI and A&E
  3. Bachelor in Paradise, ABC
  4. Scream Queens, VH1, but probably refers to the Fox drama
  5. Rehab Addict, HGTV
  6. Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, VH1
  7. Party Down South, CMT
  8. Bring It!, Lifetime
  9. Are You the One?, MTV
  10. Little Women: LA, Lifetime

The most-searched reality shows, 2015

via Google Trends

  1. 19 Kids and Counting, TLC
  2. Dancing with the Stars, ABC
  3. The Voice, NBC
  4. The Bachelor, ABC
  5. American Idol, Fox
  6. Survivor, CBS
  7. The Bachelorette, ABC
  8. Big Brother, CBS
  9. Shark Tank, ABC
  10. Dance Moms, Lifetime
  11. Teen Mom, MTV
  12. Keeping Up with the Kardashians, E!
  13. Scream Queens, VH1, but probably refers to the Fox drama
  14. Top Gear, BBC America
  15. Love & Hip Hop, VH1
  16. America’s Got Talent, NBC
  17. Big Brother, still CBS
  18. Chrisley Knows Best, USA
  19. Married at First Sight, FYI and A&E
  20. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Food Network

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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