Lauren Cohan Maggie Greene The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead passes Game of Thrones to become 2018's most pirated show

Contributed by
Jan 2, 2019

It’s awards season, which means the retroactive accolades for 2018’s best movies and TV shows are pouring out of every corner from every organization. But one honor, an honor perhaps with a more practical effect than most awards, isn’t given out by an awards body. The title of most-pirated show on TV isn’t an enviable one, but it’s still one that has plenty of buzz associated with it. People are at least watching, somehow!

And in 2018, according to TorrentFreak, people were watching The Walking Dead. The AMC zombie show lost its main character, had a crazy time jump, and otherwise dominated the genre television sphere as one of its longest-running dramas. It didn’t hurt that perennial winner Game of Thrones simply wasn’t around last year. The HBO show may see a huge resurgence next year after its final season’s debut, but 2018 was the year of the walkers.

Check out the Top 10 most-torrented shows on BitTorrent:

  1. The Walking Dead
  2. The Flash
  3. The Big Bang Theory
  4. Vikings
  5. Titans
  6. Arrow
  7. Supernatural
  8. Westworld
  9. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
  10. Suits

That’s a lot of genre — and one show banking on all that geekery, The Big Bang Theory. The one outlier is Suits. Maybe people thought they were super-Suits? After six years of GoT dominance, The Walking Dead led the charge while DC Universe offering Titans debuted on the list at #5. Since this list tracks single-episode numbers (not whole seasons), it doesn’t reflect people playing catch-up for shows outside of those using torrents to stay current.

DC superheroes hold four of the top ten spots, with Supergirl and Black Lightning being the only CW offerings not to crack the list. HBO’s big genre show during GoT’s off year, Westworld made the list but falling to shows like Vikings and Supernatural that have a more dedicated, long-won fanbase.

Since this ranking only counts torrents, rather than all forms of piracy (like streaming sites), the numbers are slightly skewed — erring towards shows watched by people that still use torrents to steal their TV. Among a certain class of criminal, however, The Walking Dead reigns supreme for at least one year.

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