From hit Netflix original series like Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things, to massive HBO productions like Game of Thrones and Westworld, to basic cable hits like The Walking Dead and Mr. Robot, 2016 has certainly seen its fair share of successes when it comes to groundbreaking productions for major television networks. As more and more moviegoers begin to opt for cinematic offerings from the comfort of their own home, networks like Netflix and HBO have seen fit to up their game when it comes to delivering gripping serialized productions that feel just as epic as feature-length motion pictures.
In the midst of what many cultural pundits have labeled as being a golden age of TV programming, it should perhaps come as no surprise that some of the very best filmed productions of the year were never released in theaters. On that note, IMDb has just released their official list of the top 10 TV shows of 2016.
Based on statistics logged from the site's 250 million unique visitors per month, IMDb was able to calculate which shows people have most consistently been interested in over the course of the 2016 calendar year. Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and The Walking Dead took the top three spots, followed by the likes of Westworld, Mr. Robot, and Orange is the New Black. Check out the full list below:
- Game of Thrones
- Stranger Things
- The Walking Dead
- American Horror Story
- The Flash
- Mr. Robot
- Orange is the New Black
Given the continuing success and popularity of Game of Thrones among general audiences, it should perhaps come as no surprise that the show took the top spot for the fifth year in a row. Likewise, Stranger Things enjoyed a nearly unprecedented success earlier this summer that probably helped it land the number two spot, just above the zombie drama mega-hit The Walking Dead. Speaking to the winners of this year's TV rankings, IMDb Senior Film Editor, Keith Simanton, spoke at length about the top two programs' respective merits, stating:
"For the fifth consecutive year, HBO’s Game of Thrones claimed the #1 spot on IMDb’s list of Top 10 TV Shows of the year. Game of Thrones has demonstrated unparalleled and enduring popularity over the last five years. Not surprisingly, its lead actors are beloved as well. Emilia Clarke for example, is IMDb’s #2 Top Star of 2016, a spot she also occupied in 2015.
But our year-end list is obviously not just about longevity. Our #2 spot is occupied by Netflix’s Stranger Things, whose 8 episodes dropped in July 2016, becoming an immediate hit with our users. The show not only served up a heap of ’80s nostalgia and reintroduced Winona Ryder to a new generation of streaming fans, but also fueled the popularity of two actresses on IMDb’s list of Top 10 Breakout Stars of 2016: Millie Bobby Brown (at #1) and Natalia Dyer (#4). Brown was so popular that she not only made it onto our Breakout Stars list, but she also charted at #3 on our Top 10 Stars of the 2016 list. Stranger Things was one of only two freshman series to rank on our Top 10 list this year; the other was HBO’s enormously popular sci-fi Westworld (#4)."
Fans of Stranger Things who have been exhaustively searching the internet for information about the science-fiction drama's young stars probably aren't too surprised to find out that they weren't the only ones obsessed with the show's featured players. Likewise, Game of Thrones continues to be one of the most widely viewed TV shows of the current moment, making IMDb's list of the Top 10 TV shows of 2016 an expected rap sheet of viewing trends from the past year.