Timeline history of the most viewed TV series from 1986 to 2019. Ranking is based on the following factors: prime-time first 24 hours audience reports, one week of reported statistics for downloaded copies (pirated), one week of streaming services viewership. Numbers are worldwide with significant bias towards US market up until 2002, afterwards it’s balanced by p2p distribution across the globe.
I actually have the data starting 1960s. Let me know if you’d like extended version of this video.
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Data source: prime-time TV viewership, streaming services reports, DHT traffic analysis