There’s still plenty of great television to come as 2017 draws to a close, but while TV programming has offered a diverse set of creative content—from shows with ice zombies, to murder mysteries, to real-life quarreling socialites, to shows with plain old regular zombies—the real winners of the year seem to be the viewers, who have a dizzying array of ways to view and programming to choose from right at their fingertips.
Overall, television in 2017 offered a bit of something for everybody, even in places we didn’t expect. Sports reigned supreme among most of the top 10 telecasts of the year, but it was the New England Patriots and their historic comeback in the Super Bowl that provided moments of hope or despair—that could’ve been its own thrilling TV series.
Millions of viewers gathered around to watch award shows celebrating the year’s best movies, TV shows and music, and they witnessed a handful of planned (and in some cases, unplanned) moments.
Viewers also found a weekly escape from the strains of real life in the stories of family love and heartbreak, medical dramas surrounding inspirational doctors, and the return of familiar comedy characters in places both old and new.
Time-shifted viewing capabilities continued to encourage audiences to keep tuning in and exploring new content on their own time. Runway models and villainous clowns alike saw their audiences swell quite a bit within the first seven days of the original airing.
Overall the percent increases in viewership for the top 10 time-shifted programs of 2017 thus far exceed those of their 2016 brethren. Case in point: last year’s top time-shifted program via percent change saw a nearly 280% increase in viewers, whereas this year’s top show benefitted from a percent increase that surpassed 380 percentage points.
However, television these days isn’t just about viewership—with a variety of social media apps at their fingertips, consumers are continuing to engage with programs and their fellow fans. This year, television heavyweights were able to bolster their status, as some of the top programs of the year in terms viewership staked their claim in the social media realm as well.
But don’t count out the little guy—shows that may not have cracked the top 10 in viewership made up for it in social buzz, demonstrating the dynamic value of television in 2017.