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What the US Is Watching During the Pandemic

Here's what the US binged during the pandemic.

Finding a solid show to stream while you’re staying in and social distancing can be a saving grace.

Back in May, we got the scoop on what people were streaming during the pandemic. But we’ve watched a lot of wonderful TV since then. So which shows still strike a chord across the US? And what new picks have made the list?

We ran a survey to find out about America’s favorite TV shows. Using the results, we ranked the performances by their search volume in each state.

What the US is Watching During COVID

America channels the dark side

In 2020, the most-searched-for shows across the states revealed a pattern: heavy subjects of crime, violence, drugs, and other risky business. Could this be a bit of American catharsis during a dim time, or are we just having a little fun looking on the darker side of life?

States watching Ozark

Regarded highly by fans and critics alike, the dark crime drama Ozark made a compelling return with March 2020’s Season 3 release. Led by Jason Bateman and Laura Linney’s powerful performances, this Netflix series delves into the world of money laundering, murder, and more.

While the buzz started to brew around May, the show’s momentum has only increased—Ozark picked up the most search interest across 18 states:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

For fans of the show wanting more: although it may seem too far away, we’ll likely see the next season pop up late this year.

Following the interest in Ozark, America tuned into Better Call Saul—a crime drama prequel to Breaking Bad—and The Walking Dead, the gory zombie show that cannot die!

States Watching Better Call Saul

Led by the mighty Bob Odenkirk as the ever-scheming lawyer Saul (or Slippin’ Jimmy), the Better Call Saul series kicks up more crime and dark comedy. Four years before Walter White’s storyline, the Breaking Bad prequel keeps up with familiar castmates like Jonathan Banks (Mike) and Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring).

The next and final season of Better Call Saul starts sometime in 2021.

States watching Better Call Saul

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Washington

States watching The Walking Dead

Ten years and ten seasons in, The Walking Dead endures as a strong AMC show. Although fans have had mixed reviews over the years, the apocalyptic adventure certainly had staying power as one of the top shows on cable TV.

States watching The Walking Dead

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

The Walking Dead never quite revived the glory of it’s early season zombie-killing days, but we’ll see the end of the show’s struggle: the final season premieres February 2021.

States watching Schitt’s Creek

After the depressing discovery of unpaid taxes, a family loses their luxury lifestyle and relocates to Schitt’s Creek, Ontario. If you’re feeling a bit disconnected, you may find good company in the deadpan delivery of the defrauded Rose family’s cutthroat cast.

States watching Schitt’s Creek

  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Vermont

But what happens when your favorite show ends, and you have nothing new to stream? Well, for Schitt’s Creek fans, they’re without a paddle—the series finale played out in 2020 during the peak of its popularity. Hopefully, in 2021, everyone can find a new show to flow with.

Washington DC sees it all: In terms of search volume, the District of Columbia’s favorite show was a tie between Little Fires Everywhere, The Crown, Better Call Saul, and Lovecraft Country.

What else did America watch during the pandemic?

  • Lovecraft Country
  • The Queen’s Gambit
  • The Crown
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Tiger King
  • Westworld

Between Beth’s brazen chess moves in The Queen’s Gambit, the royal rivalries of The Crown, and lovers of Lovecraft Country, America found some great TV to watch. Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere, Netflix’s Tiger King, and HBO’s Westworld also sparked enough interest to land among the most-searched shows across the states.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues in the US, we’ll be staying in and streaming our favorite shows like Bridgerton, Cobra Kai, and The Umbrella Academy. And, who knows, maybe we’ll finally get to our “Watch Later” lists—how about you?

What each state watched during the pandemic

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
Show
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead
Better Call Saul
Ozark
Better Call Saul
The Queen's Gambit
Ozark
Better Call Saul
(Tie) The Crown, Little Fires Everywhere, Better Call Saul, Lovecraft Country
Ozark
Lovecraft Country
Better Call Saul
Schitt’s Creek
Better Call Saul
The Walking Dead
Schitt’s Creek
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead
Schitt’s Creek
Ozark
Schitt’s Creek
Better Call Saul
Schitt’s Creek
The Walking Dead
Ozark
Ozark
Ozark
Better Call Saul
Ozark
Ozark
Better Call Saul
Better Call Saul
Ozark
Ozark
Ozark
Tiger King
Westworld
Schitt’s Creek
Ozark
Ozark
Ozark
Ozark
The Walking Dead
Schitt’s Creek
Schitt’s Creek
Ozark
Better Call Saul
The Walking Dead
Ozark
The Walking Dead

Methodology

For our initial list of shows, we asked 500 people in a Pollfish survey what their favorite show has been for the past few months. After gathering the list, we plugged each show into Google Trends to find which region displayed the most interest since the COVID-19 outbreak began around March 10, 2020.