We scoured the internet and studied IMDB to find the best list of the most watched TV shows of all time. I am sure we missed some, but there are some heavy-hitters on the list. We hope you enjoy.
Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
Game of Thrones featured nine families fighting for control over land in Westeros.
The series starred Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harrington, and Lena Heady, among others. You can still watch on HBO Max.
The series holds the record for the largest simultaneous broadcast around the world.
It also holds the record for most Emmy nominations and wins with 23 nominations and 16 win in a single night.
The IMDB rating is 9.3.
Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
Breaking Bad is a cult classic that featured a high school chemistry teacher who was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.
Following the diagnosis he turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamines to secure he and his family’s future.
A feature film was made about the show.
Breaking Bad starred Bryan Cranston of Malcolm in the Middle Fame, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt.
It can still be viewed on Netflix.
The IMDB rating is 9.5.
Stranger Things (2016-present)
Stranger Things is ranked 8.8 on IMDB and revolves around a missing boy and the supernatural forces his mother, a police chief, and his friends must battle to get him back.
The series is still playing and is hugely popular on the streaming service Netflix.
Some of the shows in the latest series are over 2 hours long.
The series stars the late Whitney Houston’s child Millie Bobbie Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, and David Harbour.
A major player for captivating its audiences was references to classic films from the 80s and is popular among both children and adults.
No show may be polarizing than Friends. People either love or hate the show that aired in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Friends sports an 8.9 rating from IMDB and revolved around a group of friends and their personal and professional lives in Manhattan.
The show famously starred Jennifer Anniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Koudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry.
It also was a major springboard in Paul Rudd and Giovnni Ribisi’s careers.
The show won a total of 6 Primetime Emmys, 77 awards, and was nominated 220 times.
The series can still be viewed on the streaming service HBO Max.
The Walking Dead (2010-2022)
The Walking Dead recently had its final season of battling zombies but you can still watch it on AMC+.
The show revolved around Sheriff Rick Grimes discovering the world is in ruins after waking up from a coma.
Grimes is tasked with leading survivors to safety while navigating a myriad of mine fields along the way.
The show is rated an 8.2 on IMDB.
The stars of the show were Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, and Lauren Cohan.
The Walking Dead secured 2 Primetime Emmy wins to go along with 79 award wins and 229 nominations.
The detective show Sherlock made its way into the top 10 with a spot at number 6.
It sports an impressive 9.1 from IMDB and was a modern update to the classic.
This series follows a detective and his doctor partner solving crimes in what is 21st century London.
Starring in the show were Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubns, and Rubert Graves.
You can still see the show by purchasing it on Prime Video.
This show cleaned up at the Emmys taking home 9 awards. The 9 Emmys were part of 93 total wins and 183 nominations.
The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019)
Another controversial show on the list is The Big Bang Theory. The cult classic has its share of haters, but its long run and droves of fans lands it on our list.
The show has an 8.2 rating on IMDB and can still be viewed on Paramount+.
Despite the critics the show was no doubt successful winning 10 Primetime Emmys, with 78 total wins and 252 award nominations.
For many Johnny Galeki reminded them of the his show Rosanne.
Famously the cast included along with Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch, nd Mayim Bialik,
Bialik who rose to fame as the main character in the show Blossom is now the hoast of Jeopardy, replacing the late Alex Trebek.
Maybe the most sinister show on the list, the cult classic returned in 2021-2022 in a miniseries format called Dexter: New Blood.
The show which rates at an 8.7 on IMDB followed Dexter played by Michael C. Hall, as the smart, lovable character who spent his days solving crimes as a detective moonlighted as a serial killer.
Joining Hall on the cast was Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, and James Remar.
You can watch the new miniseries on Showtime, and catch up on the old ones on Prime Video.
Hall won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the character.
His win was part of 53 award wins for the show which included 4 Primetime Emmys.
Dexter was nominated a total of 196 times during its run.
Most people can recall the 1986 disaster in Russia when the nuclear power plant there melted down.
Now there is a series to bring it to even more life. Chernobyl, which you can watch on HBO Max follows the events of the April 1986 explosion and explores how it became one of the world’s worst man-made disasters.
The series stars Jessie Buckley, Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, and Adam Nagaitis.
One of the more popular shows on IMDB it sports a strong 9.4 rating.
Chernobyl won a whopping 10 Primetime Emmys and had 85 award wins.
IMDB reports some interesting trivia including the interviews given by former Soviet General Nikolai Tarakanov which fascinated the Russian population.
The general was bothered by a few details of the show but ultimately thought the events were portrayed accurately.
However, some critics take issue with the stigma the series creates around nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is the most efficient form on a large scale the world has, and technological advancements have made it incredibly safe. But the show instills fear that facts have a hard time overcoming.
How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)
A show that some critics say had the worst ending of all time is our number 10 series of all time.
The show sports an 8.3 rating on IMDB and can be watched on Prime Video for those of you who want to catch ip on how Ted met his children’s mother.
The show revolved around the character Ted, explaining to his children, through a series of flashbacks, how he and his friends’ journey unfolded on his way to meeting their mother.
The show starred Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan.
The controversial ending had Ted meeting the kids’ mother who then died soon after. The final end was Ted reconnecting with character Robin to become the kids stepmother.
The show was another popular one winning 10 Primetime Emmys to go along with 26 award wins and 95 nominations.
The show was known as the show that showed a love story in reverse.
True Detective (2014-2019)
True Detective followed different police investigations each season and focused on the secrets, both personal and professional, of those involved in the investigations.
The show has an 8.9 rating on IMDB and can be watched still on HBO Max.
The cast each season included some of the most popular Hollywood stars.
It included, Vince Vaugh, Matthew McConaughey, Collin Farrel, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, Mahershala Ali, and Woody Harrelson.
Harrelson went from a goofy bartender on the hit show Cheers to become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
The show won 5 Primetime Emmys to go along with 93 nominations total and 30 wins.
To prepare Matthew McConaughey made a 450 page character study to study his character Rustin Cohle.
Lost was a mainstream hit and takes the number 12 spot on our list.
The show has an 8.4 rating on IMDB and can currently be viewed on Freevee.
Filmed in Hawaii, the show follows the survivors of a plane crash as they are forced to work together to survive on what appears to be a deserted tropical island.
Leading the cast were Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Terry O’Quinn, Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Daniel Dae Kim, and Emilie de Ravin.
Interestingly, the rocks used in the waterfall set were made of rubber so the cameras and microphones did not pick up the sound of the actors and crew scurrying about.
Black Mirror (2011-2019)
Black Mirror is a Netflix original that explored the twisted repercussions of high-tech innovation.
The show focuses on where the greatest innovations collide with the darkest instincts.
IMDB has the series rated with an 8.8.
The cast included Daniel Lapaine, Hannah John-Kamen, Michaela Coel, Beatrice Robertson-Jones, and Charles Babalola.
Interestingly, Hollywood superstar Jon Hamm, from Mad Men, appeared in one episode. As did Bryce Dallas Howard.
The show won 6 Primetime Emmys and was nominated a total of 109 times. It racked up a total of 33 wins.
Black mirror is a reference to the appearance of a television or computer screen when off.