Top New and Returning Shows in Fall 2016

Image: Designated Survivor, ABC

The fall television season has already begun: the latest seasons of perennial favorites such as American Horror Story have already started while the broadcast airways are filled with ads for all the new series premiering in the next weeks. Though some hits, such as Mr. Robot and Stranger Things, dominated demand over the summer, the biggest titles usually air during the fall and spring. Demand for these shows are already building; which new and returning shows had the highest demand in the first week of September?

Many of the most in-demand shows are returning titles on broadcast networks:

The Big Bang Theory and Dancing With The Stars top the list with over 10 million Demand Expressions™ each. The most popular titles on the CW and FOX, The Flash and Empire, are not too far behind, while another ABC title, Once Upon A Time, comes in fifth. The top shows exhibit a range of genres, from sitcom to procedural drama to superhero show.

Among the returning shows, the only sophomore title to make the top ten was Scream Queens. It has over three times as much demand as any of this year’s new titles, whose current demand we ranked here:

As of the first week of September, only ABC’s Designated Survivor, CBS’s MacGyver, and NBC’s This Is Us are the only pre-release titles to average over a million Demand Expressions™. Once these titles are released, we expect demand for all of them to increase significantly and the ranking to change as people begin to watch, share, and discuss them.

In contrast, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story already have the most demand of all the returning titles, not only the cable series.


Shameless also has more demand than all but The Big Bang Theory and DWTS, but the other cable titles and all the SVOD titles have less demand currently than the top ten broadcast titles. The most anticipated Netflix and Hulu titles are continuations of linear TV series — Longmire from A&E, Black Mirror from the UK’s Channel 4, and The Mindy Project from FOX — but digital originals The Ranch and Transparent also make the top five.

Once all these shows start airing, it will be interesting to see which titles stay on top and which titles, especially among the new series, rise to become hits this season.

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