We see a lot of death on our favorite genre TV shows. Villains go down, henchmen meet gruesome ends, monsters fall, heroes make brave sacrifices. Blood is spilled, bodies pile up, and we keep watching. But which of those shows is actually the deadliest? The rankings may prove surprising.
The data comes courtesy of the experts at FuneralWise, a funeral planning site with a staff that apparently watches a lot of TV. Over the first four months of 2012 the site identified 40 top TV shows (genre and non-genre alike), watched eight episodes each, and counted the bodies. They then calculated averages and released the results.
So which of the series we follow was the bloodiest? By FuneralWise's count it was the Starz series Spartacus, which racked up a gruesome average of 25 bodies per episode. Game of Thrones, which would have been our best guess for first place, came in second with 13 bodies per episode. It's worth noting, though, that the study is based only on the bodies seen on screen, so if we're talking implied deaths through battle storylines and such, Game of Thrones is probably still way ahead.
Fox's now-canceled Alcatraz ranked third among the genre shows, with four bodies per episode, while Person of Interest, Fringe, Supernatural and True Blood all clocked in at three. Rounding out the list, NBC's Grimm came in at two bodies per episode, while The Vampire Diaries and The Walking Dead each had only one. The study counted the bodies of vampires, zombies and the like as "non-human" deaths and placed them in a separate column, which explains the low ranking for Diaries and Dead. In terms of those deaths, The Vampire Diaries was ranked highest, with an average of 18 per episode, while The Walking Dead was right behind with 16 per episode.
Notable non-genre series that interest us include The CW's Nikita, which came in third overall, with nine bodies per episode, AMC's Breaking Bad, which tied Alcatraz with four bodies per episode, and Showtime's Dexter, which came in at three bodies per episode.
To see the full ranking of all 40 shows, including a breakdown of which networks are the deadliest, head over to FuneralWise.