IMDB’s top most searched TV shows of 2021 aren’t what you might expect

It is no secret that Netflix has had an amazing year with their original series and feature films. In fact Netflix had an “unprecedented growth spurt” in 2020 with 203 million worldwide subscribers compared to 167 million in 2019. And several of Netflix’s original series and featured films were nominated and received awards this year as well. IMDB has released a list of their most searched shows of 2021. Several of Netflix’s shows broke into the top ten, but they weren’t in the top two. IMDB’s database receives over 200 million searches a month, According to IMDb and IMDbPro people were mostly searching for show where people overcame extraordinary odds. The rankings are based on page views on IMDb. The top three shows that were searched were WandaVision, Loki and Squid Game. Below are a few more details from Businesswire. We’re just covering the TV shows you can see the top ten movies over on Businesswire.

IMDb Top 10 TV Shows of 2021*
1. WandaVision
2. Loki
3. Squid Game
4. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
5. Bridgerton
6. The Walking Dead
7. Mare of Easttown
8. Shadow and Bone
9. Cobra Kai
10. Lucifer

“Entertainment fans rely on IMDb to discover and decide what to watch, and these 10… TV shows were the most popular with our users in a notable year for entertainment,” said Brian Carver, head of data licensing for IMDb. “Our database of hundreds of millions of items proved to be a resource for fans and professionals wanting to learn more about the stars and creators of these and other breakthrough movies and TV shows on IMDb and IMDbPro, as well as the third-party companies that leverage our data-licensing business to enhance their own services.”

“We see a thematic trend in this year’s top movies on IMDb and IMDbPro, with stories centered around survivors in extraordinary circumstances breaking through, including Denis Villeneuve’s take on Frank Herbert’s Dune, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Army of the Dead,” said Keith Simanton, managing editor for IMDbPro. “The Marvel Cinematic Universe, always popular with IMDb users, lands three spots on our list of the most popular TV and streaming series with WandaVision, Loki, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We loved seeing IMDb and IMDbPro users discover new shows like Bridgerton, Shadow and Bone, and Squid Game this year, reminding us that when it comes to entertainment, fans are always looking for creativity and originality in storytelling.”

[From Businesswire via Just Jared]

I am not surprised at all by these numbers. Despite Netflix releasing some amazing series this last year, I believe that Marvel and Disney+ outdid Netflix. I also think the pandemic drove interest in superhero shows. Netflix’s series were simple enough for me to sort of space out while I was learning how to make bread. (Bridgerton, Lucifer and Shadow and Bone are my favorites on this list.) I use IMDb to research shows, specifically the actors and directors. I loved researching the hell out of Bridgerton and Shadow and Bone. And since I was very impressed by the expansion of the Marvelverse this last year I looked those up too. (I used Youtube to understand the plot points and Easter eggs.)

I never got around to watching Squid Game but it was so popular I am not surprised that it landed in the top three. I love looking at data because it shows trends over the next few years. I have pretty much watched all of the shows on the top ten list except for Squid Game and Cobra Kai. I never got into Cobra Kai I guess because of my childhood bias. Around time that Squid Game became popular I was traveling and reading. I found myself reading a lot of the source material for my favorite shows (Bridgerton and Shadow and Bone). But I am sure at some point I will get around to watching Squid Game so I can join in on the conversation. Did your favorite shows make the list?




Photos credit Netflix and Disney/Marvel

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12 Responses to “IMDB’s top most searched TV shows of 2021 aren’t what you might expect”

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  1. A.Key says:

    I don’t understand, why does this matter?
    The large majority of people on the planet do not use IMDB to search for shows, nor does this reflect viewing numbers. If they showed the most googled TV shows around the world I’d say ok, that reflects popularity I guess, although again, over 1 billion people on the planet do not use google either so….

    • Leslie says:

      Why does celeb gossip matter? Over 1 billion people on the planet have no idea who any of the celebs are that are covered on this site. Yet here you are.

      This article is just data. If you don’t care about it, move on.

      • A.Key says:

        My point was that this cannot be used as proof for an argument that these shows were the most popular or most watched shows, which is what this article seems to be suggesting. Because it excludes all the people who used different search methods for OTHER shows. There are other sites for entertainment besides IMDB and this article makes it seem as if that’s irrelevant.
        But in general, yes I agree with you, does any of this matter in the grand scheme of things in life? No, lol.

    • Merricat says:

      Lol. What’s it all about, Alfie?

    • pottymouth pup says:

      I would agree that this isn’t evidence that the shows are most popular or most watched. My friends & I use IMDB a lot but not to decide what shows to watch. We usually use it because we’re checking on who the actors or locations or confirming how many eps/when released, etc.

  2. Lauren says:

    I’m always planning to download Disney+ so that I can watch the new Marvel series, but I never do. I might find an incentive sooner or later. Anyways Shadow and Bone is love.

  3. Case says:

    Makes sense, Marvel shows seemed the most “buzzy” this year, especially WandaVision. I have to say though, WandaVision was the only Marvel show I really really loved and felt was fully realized. The other two left a lot to be desired.

    • Courtney B says:

      Loved WV though the finale was hit or miss. And Kathryn Hahn was robbed at the Emmys. Love Julianne Nicholson but she really won for a single brilliant scene in MOE. KH was amazing in every episode. WV may have been hurt by being in the drama category when so much was comedic. Really looked forward to FATWS and that show had high highs and low lows. It had brilliant parts but was ultimately a disappointment and a mess (story, pacing) imo. Loved Loki and Sophie DiMartino was an awesome addition.

  4. mia girl says:

    This list makes sense. WandaVision was one of the most interesting series of the year.

    You asked if our favorites made the list. For me, not really… to start, The Great is not on the list.

    • Songs (Or it didnt happen) says:

      To be fair, the new season of The Great didn’t drop until a few weeks ago, so it didn’t really have time to catch up. But, also, to be fair, I was on IMDb every episode going “Whose that actor? I know them from somewhere….”

  5. Mia4s says:

    That’s a very nice list telling us which demographic still uses IMDB! And not much else. 😂 The medium truly is the message and by hiding data the streamers have the entertainment media dangling on a string. Fascinating.

    Anyway. Wandavision was very good. Squid Game was very good but depressing. I didn’t LOVE anything on that list to be honest. Didn’t finish several of them. And I forgot Walking Dead was still on!

  6. Lucy2 says:

    I can’t say I’ve ever looked to IMDb to figure out what to watch.