30 Most Popular & Trending TV Series of 2017

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popular tv series

I’m sure your Twitter timeline has been exploding with endless Game of Thrones talk and Stranger Things memes. Or perhaps you’ve overheard your friends discussing The Punisher or The Crown. If you’ve felt left out and faced the struggles of being one of the very few to binge-watch the hottest shows of the year, have no fear, our recommendation of TV series to watch spans across a number of genres from the light and hilarious to the downright strange and scary.

It’s time to keep up with the times (and gossip). Here is a list of the 30 most popular and trending TV series of 2017…

1. Stranger Things

stranger things

Netflix

If you’re a fan of E.T., Dungeons and Dragons, moody Electronica and many other things early 80’s, then this show is for you. Actually, its soaring popularity proves that it’s for everyone. One afternoon, young Will Byers disappears from his small town community. A girl with a shaved head named Eleven appears and joins Will’s friends’ and family on their search-hunt for the missing boy. Things turn supernatural and strange from there onward, guaranteeing you laughs, a few cries and jump-scares all the way. Binge-watch for optimal enjoyment and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the endless 80’s movie references!

Genre:  DramaFantasyHorror 
Year Running:
2016-Now
IMDb Rating: 9/10
Did You Know? Eleven’s character was inspired by E.T – Millie was told to act similar to the iconic character. Learn more super-cool Stranger Things facts.

2. The Walking Dead

the walking dead

AMC

The Walking Dead is currently one of the most popular TV shows which gets the people talking on Twitter after yet another gruesome and shocking episode. It’s not just another zombie apocalypse series – though there are plenty of zombies – but the inspirational, and sometimes horrific journey of Rick Grimes and his group of tight-knit friends who bond, survive and sometimes even die together. Who they trust can determine their fate. Throw in the worst villains you can conjure up, exhilarating battle scenes, zombie hordes and you’ll have yourself the best of all worlds. Each episode can leave you feeling glum but you can always have a laugh by scrolling through our list of Walking Dead memes.

Genre:  DramaHorrorThriller 
Year Running:
2010-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Did You Know? There’s an interesting theory that claims Rick Grimes dreamt all the events in the show. Is the series going to end with Rick waking up from a really bad nightmare? Find out more facts about The Walking Dead in our popular post.

3. Game of Thrones

game of thrones

HBO

Game of Thrones continues to shock, thrill and wow throughout the battle for the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Dragons fly, characters are swallowed whole (and sometimes spat back out) and white walkers threaten civilization in this relentlessly barbaric and often shocking but incredibly smart series. The question on all of our minds? Who will sit on the Iron Throne?

Genre:  ActionAdventureDrama 
Year Running:
2011-Now
IMDb Rating: 9.5/10
Did You Know? George W.Bush secretly starred in an episode! You’d have to keep an eye out for this hidden Easter Egg in season one. Want to know more about the show? Here are more Game of Thrones facts!

4. American Horror Story

american horror story

20th Century Fox

American Horror Story has just finished its seventh season which gave an unusual spin on modern post-Trump America. Every series concentrates on a new theme, whether it’s a haunted house or killer clowns and only two characters have appeared in every episode. Some of the plots are loosely based on factual happenings, like the disappearances at Roanoke while others are more make-believe (AKA aliens and witches). Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange and Lady Gaga (yes, she’s an actress, too) have all won awards for their performances on the show.

Genre: DramaHorrorThriller
Year Running:
2011-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Did You Know? Each season may be differently themed and they may have entirely different plots but they still connect to each other in a clever, twisted and unexpected way.

5. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

AMC

Has it been ten years already? Breaking Bad burst onto the TV scene in 2008 and by the time it had finished airing, was one of the most-watched, most highly-rated television shows of all time. It’s dumbfounding what an ex-science teacher, Walter White, and his former pupil, Jesse Pinkman, can do once drawn into the world of drugs, guns and violence, while clinging tenuously to some sort of faulty moral compass. If you’re up for heart attack-inducing moments and clever twists, Breaking Bad is certainly a good TV show to watch. If you find yourself clinging onto it after its short 5 seasons, try its popular spin-off Better Call Saul.

Genre: CrimeDramaThriller
Year Running:
2008-2013
IMDb Rating: 9.5/10
Did You Know? There are many hidden Breaking Bad Easter Eggs in The Walking Dead! It’s even led many to believe the two shows take place in the same universe! Check out more facts about the show in our latest post.

6. Orange is the New Black

orange is the new black

Tilted Productions

Piper Chapman is a thirty-something, “good girl” engaged to a nice guy and working in a run-of-the-mill job. Her life is turned upside down when she is forced to spend time in a low-risk women’s correctional facility in Connecticut. Piper’s mortification soon turns to learning to fit in and getting up to no good with the other quirky inmates she meets there. Prepare to cry a river of tears, ready yourself for WTF moments and don’t be afraid to get emotionally attached to the criminals who occupy the prison.

Genre: ComedyCrimeDrama
Year Running:
2013-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Did You Know? The actresses on the show go through drastic transformations to embody their deranged characters. Check out what the cast of Orange is the New Black look like in real life!

7. Friends

friends

Warner Bros.

Indeed, it’s one of the most popular TV shows of all time. Friends, which ran for ten years from 1994 until 2004, is still one of the most watched comedies. K’mon, you can’t tell me you haven’t watched reruns of reruns? It turns out three young men and women who live in the same apartment complex can have a LOT of fun! The laughs are timeless, there are iconic funny scenes and the bond between each character will make you wish you had friends just like them.

Genre: Comedy, Romance
Year Running:
1994-2004
IMDb Rating: 8.9/10
Did You Know? The table where the gang sit in Central Perk is actually reserved for especially for them! See more mind-blowing Easter Eggs in Friends!

8. Empire

Fox-empire

FOX

ALS has struck Lucious, a founder of a successful record label. This forces him to choose between his three sons as to which will take over his role as CEO when he dies. His ex-wife and co-founder, Cookie, is out of prison and wants a piece of the action too. If you’re a hip-hop head and R&B lover, this music-based series should be right on top of your watchlist – think Glee, but more badass. Enjoy performances from the talented cast, funny lines from Cookie and familial drama that many can relate to.

Genre: Drama, Music
Year Running:
2015-Now
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Did You Know? Wesley Snipes was almost cast as the show’s main villain! Thanks to Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard landed the legendary role of Lucious Lyon! See more Empire facts

9. The Vampire Diaries

the vampire diaries

Alloy Entertainment

Brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore have been vampires for hundreds of years. They’ve been leading ‘normal’ lives as eternal adolescents without ceasing. But when Stefan, the good brother, falls in love with Elena, Damon tries to sabotage the relationship not only because he is inherently evil but to exact revenge on his brother for making him turn into a vampire many years ago. This top TV series may have come to an end this year but that shouldn’t stop newbies from trying it out.

Genre: DramaFantasyHorror 
Year Running:
2009-2017
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Did You Know? Transforming the cast into vampires was a long process – it involved contact lenses, fangs, prosthetics and blood effects! Find out more about the show in our Vampire Diaries facts post!

10. The Crown

the crown

Netflix

Admit it, most of us have wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes of the British royal family. Whether it be curiosity, fandom or just plain old voyeurism, The Crown lifts the lid on all of this. This loosely factual biography of Queen Elizabeth II, starts with a young Elizabeth’s marriage to Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh in 1947 and uncovers some of the fascinating insights, scandals, difficulties and triumphs in the life of the still-reigning monarch and her family. A must-watch Netflix series that promises addiction!

Genre: Drama, History
Year Running:
2016-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.7/10
Did You Know? The queen has watched The Crown, according the Daily Express. Apparently, she Netflix and chilled with her son, Prince Edward, and his wife, Sophie.

11. Riverdale

riverdale

Netflix

Bubbling away below the seemingly perfect surface of Riverdale, is a lot of darkness and weirdness. Archie Andrews and his friends find themselves navigating not only the intricacies and mysteries of their relationships with each other but also navigating what could be the biggest mystery of them all – what happened to Jason Blossom? And how do they deal with the fallout?

Genre: CrimeDramaMystery 
Year Running:
2017-Now
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Did You Know? Riverdale is actually based on the characters of the Archie Comics – the very same comics that inspired Sabrina the Teenage Witch!

12. 13 Reasons Why

13 reasons why

Netflix

This is the story of Hannah and Clay. When Clay’s crush, Hannah, decides to take her own life she leaves behind a box that contains 13 reasons why she made the decision she did. If Clay reads through the list, what will he do if he finds himself on there? Dual narratives mean that you gain good insight into each character. A tragic, yet poignant, look into a theme often left undiscussed.

Genre: DramaMystery 
Year Running:
2017-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Did You Know? Selena Gomez is the show’s executive producer! As someone who suffered from depression and anxiety, she’s proud to have had a role in this significant series.

13. The Punisher

the punisher

Netflix

In yet another gripping Netflix TV series, Frank Castle exacts revenge on those responsible for killing his wife and children. In doing so he uncovers many injustices that run deeper than just New York’s underworld. Enlisting the help of professionals in their field, Frank’s mission is to fight criminals vigilante-style. With a rating of 8.8 on IMDB (almost unheard of) and rave reviews, this is definitely worth a watch!

Genre: ActionAdventureCrime
Year Running:
2017-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.8/10
Did You Know? The Punisher is originally a Spider-Man villain! In fact, he set out to kill the web-head during his first comic book appearance!

14. This Is Us

this is us

Rhode Island Ave. Productions

This takes a seemingly ordinary family, the Pearsons, and shows you each of their in-depth struggles and triumphs as revelations from the past and present come to light. Whether it be a search for biological parents, self-compassion in the midst of obesity or difficult career decisions, this highly-emotional series offers a deeper look into families that could be us. Grab the tissue box, this one guarantees endless tears.

Genre: Romance, Drama
Year Running:
2016-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.8/10
Did You Know? The show was originally meant to be a movie about octuplets. The showrunner realized that This Is Us would work much better on the small screen than on the big screen.

15. The Handmaid’s Tale

handmaid's tale

MGM Productions

In what is considered as one of this year’s most trending TV shows, Offred is a member of the totalitarian and fundamentalist society called Gilead which once formed part of the USA. In the midst of a sexist society where women are treated as property and the fertile are forced to give birth to children, Offred is determined to survive the terrifying circumstances and to find her lost daughter.

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Year Running:
2017-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Did You Know? The series is based on a novel which has been banned from high-schools because of “profanity, illicit sex, violence, hopelessness, and statements that are defamatory to God”.

16. Big Bang Theory

big bang theory

Chuck Lorre Productions

Four Mensa members and Caltech scientists can tell you everything you want to know about quantum physics or nerd trivia. But when it comes to real-life and women, the collision is about as big a bang as any! Filled with hilarity and awkwardness, the Big Bang Theory now has a cult following and certainly goes down in history as one of the best TV series ever.

Genre: Comedy, Romance
Year Running:
2007-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Did You Know? The cast members have been dubbed as some of the world’s highest paid actors. Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar reportedly earn an average of $900,000 per episode!

17. Gotham

gotham

Primrose Hill Productions

Calling all Batman-lovers and DC-comic readers alike! Detective Jim Gordon and his partner, Harvey Bullock, want to restore Gotham to its purer and less crime-infested self. This proves hard in a city that harbours some of the worst villains in DC history. Fascinatingly, Gordon investigates the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents and so the saga begins.

Genre: ActionCrimeDrama 
Year Running:
2014-Now
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Did You Know? Several infamous DC characters appear in the show including Penguin, Alfred, The Riddler, and yes, Bruce Wayne.

18. Arrow

arrow

Berlanti Productions

Oliver Queen, a rich billionaire playboy, returns from five years on a Pacific Island, after having been presumed dead. While he still plays that role in the daytime, at night he is Arrow, a highly-trained superhero, using his newly-acquired skills to ensure vigilante justice for the innocent.

Genre: ActionAdventureCrime 
Year Running:
2012-Now
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Did You Know? The television series was inspired by The Dark Knight trilogy. “We were heavily influenced, obviously, by Chris Nolan’s take on Batman, especially the second movie, The Dark Knight“, said show creator Andrew Kreisberg.

19. The Flash

the flash

Berlanti Productions,

Barry Allen is a man on a mission.  When his mother dies in a freak accident for which his father is wrongly accused, he sets about trying to understand the truth. When a highly-awaited particle accelerator blows up and causes a freak storm, Allen is struck by lightning, turning him into The Flash and giving him the power of super-speed. As he begins realizing that others have the same power as him but are using it for evil, he decides to use his for good while also trying to solve the ongoing mystery of his mother’s death.

Genre: ActionAdventure, Drama
Year Running:
2014-Now
IMDb Rating: 8/10
Did You Know? It takes Grant Gustin almost an hour to get into his superhero costume! According to Quirky Byte, the suit was designed and created by Colleen Atwood.

20. Supernatural

supernatural

Kripke Enterprises

Supernatural is the U.S.A’s longest-running action fantasy series. Creator, Eric Kripke, tried to pitch this series unsuccessfully for ten years before it started in September, 2005. Although creepy at times and known for its comedic moments, Supernatural tells the many and varied stories of the Winchester brothers, Dean and Sam, who together go head to head with supernatural creatures all over the country.

Genre: DramaFantasyHorror
Year Running:
2005-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Did You Know? The first season of the series’ budget was only $200,000 – it reportedly included the actors’ wages and the special effects!

21. Vikings

vikings

World 2000 Entertainment

While not as popular as the inimitable Game of Thrones, Vikings has made its mark on a very competitive television scene. Strictly not a fantasy programme, but a historical drama, Vikings bears all the hallmarks of a ruthless, fascinating and bloody television show. The tales in Vikings originate from early medieval Scandinavian Norsemen as well as actual events like the Lindisfarne raid in 793. Delve into the intense lives of historic characters and bloodshed battle scenes that’ll have your heart racing.

Genre: ActionDramaHistory
Year Running:
2013-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Did You Know? Most the characters are only said to be based on real people. Rollo, however is based on William The Conqueror’s great-great-great-grandfather.

22. Dark

dark series

Netflix

Dark is exactly that – dark. The Netflix Original Series is the first major German show ever to air. The search for a missing child sends four families into a frenzied search that spans three generations. Mind-bending, twisted and unique, Dark is its own kind of crazy.

Genre: CrimeDramaMystery 
Year Running:
2017-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.8/10
Did You Know? The new TV show is said to be the German answer to Stranger Things. Once you’ve finished binge-watching that, head-over to Dark.

23. The Ranch

the ranch

Ranch Hand Productions

Ashton Kutcher takes the lead in this family saga about a son who leaves behind a semi-pro career in football to run the family business. It has been billed as a fantastic, apt family comedy and if you can make it past the slow burn of the first few episodes, it gets better.

Genre: Comedy
Year Running:
2016-Now
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Did You Know? The latest comedy series to take fans by storm was actually created by the Two and a Half Men writer and producer team!

24. Peaky Blinders

peaky blinders

Caryn Mandabach Productions

Ask nearly anyone and they will tell you that Peaky Blinders is one of the most stand-out TV series of the last four years with great ratings across the internet. This is gangster, but English gangster set in 1919. The show revolves around a gang who sew razor blades into their cap peaks and their ferocious boss, Tommy Shelby.

Genre: Crime, Drama
Year Running:
2013-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.8/10
Did You Know? The show is based on the real-life Peaky Blinders who were a criminal gang based in Birmingham, England, during the Victorian era.

25. Suits

suits series

Hypnotic

The temptation here is to talk about one of the central actors, Meghan Markle and her recent engagement to Prince Harry. But because this show is good, it deserves its own credit. It focuses primarily on the relationship between a brilliant college drop-out, Mike Ross, who has faked his legal credentials and Harvey Specter, one of New York’s best closers. Filled with tension, humour and brilliance, Suits would make a great binge watch.

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Year Running:
2011-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Did You Know? Lead cast-member, Gabriel Macht’s family is full of lawyers. Believe it or not, his dad and his wife also appeared on the show!

26. Narcos

narcos series

Netflix

It’s a wonder a hit TV show on this topic has not been made before now. Narcos tracks the rise of one of Colombia’s most infamous drug lords, Pablo Escobar. It also shows his networks, his operations and the somewhat complex nature of a man so powerful, yet so human. Promising shocks, wows and a complete and utter obsession, this show will take you through Columbia’s heard-earned history.

Genre: BiographyCrimeDrama
Year Running:
2015-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.9/10
Did You Know? The actor who plays Pablo Escobar had to gain 40lbs and wear a fake stomach to really nail the drug-lord’s physique.

27. Westworld

westworld

Bad Robot

Set in between the very real future and a recreated past, Westworld tells the story of an amusement park designed to let adults do whatever they want with no restrictions. The robotic hosts, however, have developed a form of consciousness – and everything comes at a price.

Genre: DramaMysterySci-Fi
Year Running:
2016-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.9/10
Did You Know? Quentin Tarantino almost had the chance to direct the Pilot. Instead it was directed by Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan.

28. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

agents of shield

ABC Studios

The end of the Battle of New York sees the Avengers find and fight the menaces that face humanity. Phil Coulson, of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, aid their cause. This popular series is based on the Marvel comics and offers a thrilling ride of excitement and thrills.

Genre: ActionAdventureDrama
Year Running:
2013-Now
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Did You Know? The show doesn’t take place on earth, but in Marvel’s cinematic universe. It’s known by comic book fans as “Earth 199999”.

29. Ozark

ozark

Netflix

Seemingly ordinary, Marty Byrde, is the top money launderer for the second biggest drug cartel in Mexico. When things go wrong, he quickly moves his family to the lake region of the Missouri Ozarks. What Marty begins to realise is that his troubles have only just begun and he must protect his family at all costs. The show is strangely reminiscent of Breaking Bad, where such an ordinary guy leads a dark life and tries to keep this hidden from his family.

Genre: CrimeDramaThriller
Year Running:
2017-Now
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Did You Know? The cast and crew had some money laundering education before filming. “We had an FBI agent who investigates money laundering come and sit down with us for a day so we could pick her brain,” revealed the show-creator.

30. Grey’s Anatomy

greys anatomy

Shondaland

As Grey’s Anatomy heads into its 13th year with 206 different TV nominations and 67 wins, it might be time to try this TV series. Follow aspiring surgeon, Meredith Grey, as she manages the professional and personal challenges in her own life alongside her colleagues at Seattle Grace Hospital.

Genre: DramaRomance
Year Running:
2005-Now
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Did You Know? The show was almost titled “Surgeons” in its original pitch! Now, that would have been weird!

And that, folks, is a round-up of the 30 most trending TV shows of 2017. What’s been your favorite series of the year? Let us know which show had you gripped in the comments below…

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2 Comments

  1. V

    Fantastic summary of some brilliant shows. Breaking Bad was my favourite. I didn’t think it would be my ‘cup of tea’ but hubby wanted to watch it, so I did too – and couldn’t stop, its gripping.
    Watched stranger things with my tween boys – once again was “their program” not mine, but wow! Loved it. Nice synopsis lady from the ‘Long White Cloud’ will check out some of these other shows

    • Thank you very much! Those same two that you love (and TWD) are my favourite so you have good taste. I so appreciate the feedback and am so glad you may have found some new shows to check out!

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