Google has released its ‘Top Trending’ lists for 2017, and as usual, there are some surprises amongst the heavy hitters that anyone could have predicted! There are plenty of ways to measure the popularity of a TV show, of course, and Google’s ‘top trending’ is only one of them. These stats measure those searches that have seen the highest spike in 2017 compared to 2016, compared to (for example), looking at social media conversations or total searches overall. Still, with Google the world’s undisputed most popular search engine, the data collected is a great measure of what people were looking for over the past year.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that every show on this list is here because it was great quality viewing, or because all those people searching for it are fans. In fact, many of these TV series made it onto Google’s top trending list for 2017 because of a controversy associated with them… and that means that they might have preferred to stay off this list, after all!
From the perfect to the problematic, here are the ten top trending TV series of 2017.
This page: American Gods, Big Little Lies, and Santa Clarita Diet
10. American Gods
American Gods, based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, came to the small screen in April for its freshman season. With incredible cinematography that was mind-bendingly beautiful at points and incredibly graphic at others, it’s no wonder that American Gods had people talking. The existing fandom from the book didn’t hurt, either, and with Gaiman himself involved in the writing and the press tours, there were plenty of book fans rushing to watch the premiere. Nominated for two Primetime Emmys (and a host of other awards), it’s no surprise that American Gods was one of the biggest searches of the year. It’s not here just for its success, though. American Gods is also complicated and often confusing, leading many fans to search for answers online. In addition, American Gods got a Google bump in recent months, with the announcement of a second season on the way, and the news that star Ricky Whittle may be in the running to play John Stewart in the Green Lantern movie.
9. Big Little Lies
Another series based on the book of the same name (this time by Liane Moriarty), and a muder-mystery of sorts, where all the lies of the characters’ relationships are revealed over the course of seven episodes. It’s a phenomenal look at the dark depths of families with seemingly perfect lives, and with a star-studded cast (including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodly as the three leads) it’s no surprise that Big Little Lies was a smash hit for 2017. Nominated for a whopping 6 Golden Globes, with another 25 wins (including multiple Primetime Emmys) and dozens of other nominations, Big Little Lies makes it onto the trending list by virtue of just being really fantastic TV! It has also now been announced that despite being originally described as a one-off mini-series, Big Little Lies will be returning for a second season, which is sure to have boosted the buzz around this show.
8. Santa Clarita Diet
The Santa Clarita Diet may come as something of a surprise entry on this list, as the show’s freshman season was popular, but not necessarily stunning enough to make it one of the top trending for the entire year. Starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, The Santa Clarita Diet puts a spin on the zombie genre, as a preppy California mom and real estate agent becomes zombified, and she and her family hilariously struggle to cope with the fallout. It’s a blend of brutal and bright that made it a surprise hit for the start of the year, with fans already looking forward to a second season.
However, it’s not the show itself that had everyone talking this year, but the marketing campaign. Before the premiere, Netflix launched a marketing campaign that seemed to be promoting a literal diet, with the hashtag #SantaClaritaDiet. Social media influencers were posting images of themselves sipping dark red smoothies from bottles labelled #SantaClaritaDiet (or even ‘blood, brains, tissue’), occasionally with what looked like blood dripping from their mouths. It was the perfect ad campaign to have people searching for the hashtag to find out what was going on – and clearly, it worked! However, The Santa Clarita Diet has been criticized for being too graphic, and the marketing campaign also received complaints in Germany, where posters showing a finger sliced up in food caused controversy and led to the image being dropped from the campaign.
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