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America’s Favorite British TV Shows

What Americans Love to Watch from Across the Pond

It’s been a lot longer than four score and seven years ago since the United States declared its independence from Britain, but there are some things from across the pond that we just can’t quit. JK Rowling and the magical world of Harry Potter, royal weddings, and the charm of afternoon tea are just a few of the British exports we’re perpetually fangirling over. And British TV. So much British TV. With the rising popularity of Netflix and our ability to stream shows like Downton Abbey and Sherlock, the team at CableTV decided to research popular British TV shows in the U.S. to see what might be trending on “the telly” in your state.

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We admit it. We expected to see a Downton Abbey America, too. But because we looked at British TV past and present, we got lots more variety in our data. While some of the high-profile shows are still featured on our map, you’ll see some lesser-known favorites that American viewers have been hooked on for years. What is the most popular British TV show in America according to our research? All other TV from across the pond is outnumbered by Outnumbered, an award-winning sitcom about the realities of modern parenthood.

We arrived at each state’s favorite show by identifying popular British TV past and present, and then we used Google Trends to determine which ones were favorites in each state. Check out the complete results below.

State
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Top Show Network/Where to Watch Description
Outnumbered BBC One Comedy about life with growing children.
Whitechapel Amazon, Hulu Crime drama set in London explores historical crimes.
Survivors Amazon Post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi drama.
Fresh Meat Hulu Comedy drama about college students.
Raised by Wolves Acorn TV Comedy about unconventional childhood.
Spaced Hulu Sitcom about a professional couple.
The Hour BBC America Drama about a BBC newsroom in the 1950s.
The Thick of It BBC TWO Dark political comedy/satire.
Yes Minister Amazon Political comedy/satire.
Pulling BBC Three Comedy about three single women.
Coupling Amazon Romantic comedy about relationships.
Episodes Amazon Comedy about British writers making TV show.
Line of Duty BBC TWO Police and crime drama.
Fresh Meat Hulu Comedy drama about college students.
Coupling Amazon Romantic comedy about relationships.
Luther BBC America Crime drama starring Idris Elba.
Mr. Bean Amazon Family comedy with slapstick humor.
Spaced Hulu Sitcom about a professional couple.
Outnumbered BBC One Comedy about life with growing children.
Agatha Christie’s Marple Amazon Quaint murder mystery drama featuring elderly woman.
Top Boy Hulu Crime drama that takes place in London housing.
Gogglebox Channel 4 Reality show about Brits watching TV.
Raised by Wolves Acorn TV Comedy about unconventional childhood.
Never Mind the Buzzcocks BBC TWO Comedy pop quiz.
The Thick of It BBC TWO Dark political comedy/satire.
Survivors Amazon Post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi drama.
Peaky Blinders BBC TWO Netflix Period crime drama about gangsters in Birmingham.
Doctor Who BBC One Classic sci-fi with a cult following.
Love Island itv Reality dating show.
The Crown Netflix Drama about the early life of Queen Elizabeth.
Episodes Amazon Comedy about British writers making TV show.
Misfits Hulu Sci-Fi comedy drama about superheroes.
Pulling BBC Three Comedy about three single women.
Outnumbered BBC One Comedy about life with growing children.
Episodes Amazon Comedy about British writers making TV show.
Outnumbered BBC One Comedy about life with growing children.
The Office Hulu Sitcom mockumentary about corporate life.
Celebrity Juice Itv2 Comedy panel game.
Gadget Man Channel 4 Covers new gadgets and technology.
Absolutely Fabulous BBC America Satirical comedy about two selfish, middle aged women.
Southcliffe Netflix A drama about the aftermath of tragedy.
Merlin BBC one, Hulu Fantasy drama for young adults about King Arthur legend.
Spaced Hulu Sitcom about a professional couple.
Getting On BBC four Dark comedy about life on a hospital ward.
The IT Crowd Hulu Comedy about an IT group.
Happy Valley Netflix Crime drama about a small town cop.
War and Peace Hulu Historical drama about the rise and fall of aristocrats in Imperial Russia.
Cold Feet Hulu Romantic comedy about relationships.
Doctor Who BBC One Classic sci-fi with a cult following.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus Amazon Sketch comedy from the 70s with cult following.
Doctor Who BBC One Classic sci-fi with a cult following.

What trends did we spot in our British TV data? Come join us for a spot of speculation.The More Things Change, the More They Stay Exactly the SameOur British TV map holds up the patterns of viewing we’ve noticed in other types of entertainment data over the past year. The Western and Southern portions of the States prefer comedies and the fluffier content of sitcoms, while in the Northern and Eastern regions, viewers snuggle up to dramas and strong female leads.We Are What We WatchWe’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Some states are watching shows that reinforce regional stereotypes. Here are just a few that’ll make you chuckle:

  • DC keeps it political with Yes, Minister.
  • Maine is quaint, quirky, and decidedly up to mischief with Marple.
  • Put a ring on it in Nevada with Love Island.
  • Utah’s tech boom is evidence that the IT Crowd has found a new home.
  • Vermont’s idyllic scenery makes Happy Valley an apt nickname.
  • War and Peace is still a matter of contention in Virginia.
  • It’s no surprise that Washington keeps getting Cold Feet.

Regional TrendsAcross parts of the United States, we noticed some specific trends. While British comedies are generally more popular than other types of content, there were a few sub-genres that seemed to be favorites in certain pockets of the country.

  • The Midwest keeps it clean with cheerful comedies like Bean, campy Dr. Who, and young adult fantasy dramas like Merlin.
  • When the South does drama, they like it served with a side of apocalypse from Survivors.
  • Northern intellectuals think they have the answer with comedy pop quizzes, including Celebrity Juice and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
  • New England stays true to their sarcastic nature with Absolutely Fabulous and Gogglebox, a reality TV show about watching TV. Because that totally makes sense.

And Baby Makes ThreeThere seems to be a bit of correlation between high birthrates and states that prefer comedies about couples or families, proving parents like to laugh at their own trials and tribulations as much as the next TV viewer. Some examples:

Like Guns? You probably also prefer your British TV with a side of firearms. States with higher rates of gun ownership per capita pull out all the stops with shows that feature plenty of sharp shooting.

Are you a fan of what your state serves up for British TV? Share with your friends to discuss and find new shows from across the pond to stream.

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