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Queen's Gambit
Photograph: Netflix

Here are the most Googled TV shows of 2020

Surprise, surprise: everyone was talking about 'Tiger King.'

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Television in all its facets has clearly been our best friend throughout this incredibly odd 2020. We've watched old favorites together, tuned into political press conferences and debates while collectively obeying stay-at-home orders and we've discovered a whole lot of new TV programs across Netflix, cable channels, Amazon Prime, Hulu and more. In a way, what we watched on our screens this year will forever function as a memento of an era that has completely altered our lifestyles and dispositions.

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Google's just-released year-in-review data, which includes a list of the most searched-for TV shows throughout the past 12 months, is just that: a walk down memory lane.

Some of the entries won't surprise you but others might. Sure, we all remember the national phenomenon that was Tiger King, for example, but many more productions took center stage throughout a pandemic defined by a whole lot of couch time. The Last Dance, for example, the ESPN/Netflix documentary about the great Michael Jordan, earned praise among critics upon first dropping. The show lands on spot number 10 on Google's ranking.  

The Queen's Gambit, on the other hand, a relatively newer release about a female chess prodigy, was the fifth most Googled in 2020. As exciting as that feat of popularity is, show runners will likely be even prouder of the fact that, according to the New York Times, sales of chess-related products have soared 125% across the country since the show first premiered back in October. 

Although chances are you've already seen them all, some of the shows highlighted by Google might have slipped under your radar while you were busy baking banana bread. Have you taken to Ratched, for example? Ryan Murphy's take on the story of the famous Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is defined by the kind of creative gore that will have you think of Murphy as a national treasure forever more. Or, perhaps, you might want to indulge in Cobra Kai—the second most searched TV show this past year. Although already three seasons in, the martial arts comedy-drama based on The Karate Kid film series still resonates with audiences—and for good reason.

One thing is certain all throughout: television has become one of the most exciting, perpetually satisfying and creative outlets across the entertainment industry—and we're so glad we were able to take refuge in it throughout this very, very, very strange 2020.

The 10 most Googled TV shows in 2020:

1. Tiger King
2. Cobra Kai
3. Ozark
4. The Umbrella Academy
5. The Queen's Gambit
6. Little Fires Everywhere
7. Outer Banks
8. Ratched
9. All American
10. The Last Dance

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