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12 New TV Shows Millennials & Gen Z Can’t Wait to Watch

What new TV shows on streaming and networks have the best chance of success with Millennials & Gen Z? We asked what shows they’re most excited to watch to find out…

People are watching four hours and 21 minutes of live TV a day on average, according to Nielsen, but primetime premiere week saw an 8% drop year over year in viewing among 18-49-year-olds. Binging is the new normal for watching content, and it might be cutting into ratings as young consumers may be waiting to watch multiple episodes all at once rather than tuning in for a specific single show. In other words, thanks to their viewing habits, it’s harder than ever to gauge what’s going to be a hit with young viewers. But it’s fall TV time, and many shows—online and on networks—are vying to become a hit with the generation. Will any be the next Rick & Morty or Riverdale? In our recent TV and entertainment monthly survey, we asked a slew of questions about their TV behavior (including their current favorite shows right now) and what new shows they’re most excited to watch to find out which series have the most potential.

We listed new shows premiering this season on both networks and streaming services to find out which have the best chance of attracting young viewers. Including streaming service shows has become a necessity as the popularity of SVOD original content has skyrocketed in recent years. Last year, the first time Ypulse included streaming originals in the survey question, the top two shows they were most excited to watch were Netflix originals. The Post-TV Gen’s concept of what words like “show” and “series” mean may be broader than those following more traditional definitions, and they certainly include content created by Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu—even when that content is not released in traditional weekly segments.

One important note: we did allow respondents to say “none” in response to the question, and this was by far the most popular answer. Almost two in five 13-35-year-olds overall chose to say there are no new shows they’re excited to watch. Females were the most likely to mark “none,” with 45% saying there are no new shows they’re excited to watch, followed by 41% of 13-17-year-olds. It’s tough out there for a new series. So what shows are they actually excited to tune in for? Here are the top 12 responses:

What New Shows Were They Excited To Watch?

13-35-year-olds

  1. Marvel’s Defenders (Netflix) 
  2. Marvel’s Inhuman (ABC)       
  3. Will & Grace (NBC)   
  4. Law & Order True Crime (NBC)         
  5. The Good Doctor (ABC)         
  6. Young Sheldon (CBS) 
  7. Black Lightning (The CW)      
  8. SEAL Team (CBS)       
  9. The Orville (Fox)        
  10. SWAT (CBS)   
  11. The Gifted (Fox)        
  12. Ghosted (Fox)

Netflix once again won the top spot on the list of new shows that young consumers are excited to watch, with their Marvel’s Defenders series garnering the most anticipation: 22% of 13-35-year-olds said they are excited to watch the show. But a network swooped in this year to take the second ranking spot, with another Marvel show: ABC’s Marvel’s Inhuman. So while some may wonder if there are too many Marvel shows out there, clearly young consumers are still interested. Nostalgia likely won NBC the third ranking spot, with the returning Will & Grace—a pattern we also saw last year when Netflix’s rebooted Gilmore Girls was at the top. 

Will & Grace anticipation is especially high among young females, ranking as the show they’re most excited to watch:

While females 13-34-years-old might be excited to watch the return of Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen, the show didn’t make the top five among males. That list favors superhero and sci-fi shows. We also saw some differences between the shows that Gen Z is excited to watch compared to Millennials: 

While both groups are excited to watch Marvel shows, and Law & Order’s new True Crime iteration, Will & Grace didn’t make Gen Z’s top five list (considering the generation doesn’t remember the original, this makes sense) and they’re more excited for the Big Bang Theory spin off Young Sheldon than Millennial viewers. 

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.