The most popular contemporary television shows fall into many categories – drama, comedy (both live-action and animated), game shows, news broadcasts, reality programs, and more. Regardless of genre, they all have staying power.
To compile a list of the most popular contemporary TV shows in the U.S., 24/7 Tempo reviewed a survey conducted by YouGov, an international market and data analytics website. The survey measured popularity – the percentage of people surveyed who have a positive opinion of a show – as of the end of July 2023. Some of the series listed here are recent reboots of classics from the past, like “Roseanne,” “Hawaii Five-0,” and “Perry Mason,” but only the air dates for the current or most recent iterations are given, since YouGov specified “contemporary” shows.
While nearly half of the programs on this list debuted in the 21st century, nine of the top 10 are shows that first aired in the previous century. Among reality shows, “Antiques Roadshow” might be considered an antique itself, since it first appeared in 1997. The original “Perry Mason” ran from 1957 to 1966, before being rebooted for a two-season run in 2020.. “The X-Files” originally aired from 1993 to 2002 and has been brought back twice since then. (Quality doesn’t guarantee longevity. These are the best TV shows that were canceled after one season.)
The drama that has run for the longest time without a break is “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which was spun off in 1999 and from the original “Law & Order” series – which began in 1990, lasted until 2010, and was then revived again last year. (Here are 50 classic TV shows we’d like to see rebooted.)
Game shows occupy four of the top 10 spots. Three of them – “Jeopardy!”, “The Price is Right,” and “Family Feud” – actually recent iterations of older shows, as is “Let’s Make a Deal,” in the No. 24 slot, which first aired in 1963 but was revived in 2009 .
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