Halloween's Top-Searched TV Shows for Each State

Not sure what to watch? A new study might help. In anticipation of this year's spookiest holiday, satellite provider USDISH revealed which TV shows had the highest search volume by state over the course of last year's Halloween season. The data may surprise you—across all 50 states, only five shows proved popular enough to make the list.

A USDISH team used Google Trends to calculate their data. Specifically, they looked state-by-state at the TV shows with the highest volume of searches over the month of October 2020.

1. Friends

Coming in at number one is the much-beloved '90s sitcom, Friends. Though it's a far cry from the scary stuff typically associated with the holiday, the comforting classic was the top-searched TV show in 14 states: Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont.

Friends Still
"Friends" was the top-searched series in 14 states from October 1 to October 30, 2020. A still from the TV show "Friends." Warner Bros. Television/Getty Images

2. Stranger Things

Following close behind was the Netflix drama Stranger Things, which came in first for 13 states. The seasonally-appropriate choice that blends supernatural elements with horror and science fiction is one of the more recent shows to make the list. It ranked first in Alaska, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

3. The Simpsons

The enduring animated series The Simpsons came in third place, having been 10 states' most-searched TV show. Likely boosted by its classic Halloween "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, the notoriously long-running show—currently in its 33rd season—appealed to viewers in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Rhode Island.

4. The Big Bang Theory

Another departure from the Halloween theme came in the form of The Big Bang Theory. The sitcom was the top-searched TV show in eight states: Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, South Dakota and West Virginia.

5. Criminal Minds

Last on the list was the still-very-popular Criminal Minds. The police procedural crime drama, which aired from 2005 to 2020, had the highest number of searches in six states—Hawaii, Indiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Halloween TV Shows
USDISH's map of the most-searched TV shows between October 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020. USDISH

In addition to these findings, USDISH also used IMDB data and the TV by the Numbers archive to find the most-watched Halloween-themed TV episodes, released between 1990 and 2020, at the time of their premieres. Of the 15 episodes, a whopping 11 were The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror" specials. However the Friends Halloween episode—"The One with the Halloween Party"—ranked second place overall, with 27 million viewers tuning in for its 2001 premiere. The rest of the list, in addition to USDISH's full report, can be found here.