Millennials & Gen Z’s 17 Favorite TV Shows of All Time

Nostalgia viewing isn’t going anywhere and young consumers are spending a good chunk of their TV viewing time watching reruns—so what are their top favorite TV shows of all time? We found out…

The Post-TV Gen is taking over, and their “disruptive” viewing behavior is becoming the norm. More than half of all viewers (not just young viewers) now say they watch their favorite show online, instead of tuning in live, according to eMarketer. Fifty percent of 16-74-year-olds who watch five or more hours of TV each week told Hub Research they watch via online sources like Netflix, signifying a “tipping point” for TV. Compare that to four years ago and it’s clear how much has changed: just 31% opted to watch online in 2014. Among the streaming giants, Netflix is winning out, and not just with Millennials: 29% watch their favorite show on Netflix, just 2% less than on live TV.

But those favorite shows might not be what you think. While Netflix and other streaming services are investing billions in originals, most viewers would reportedly rather watch reruns. Nielsen data shows that just 20% of time spent on SVODs (subscription services on demand) is used to watch originals. The other 80%? That’s dedicated to “catalog programming”: all the movies and TV picked up from outside studios. We know Gen Z and Millennials love nostalgia entertainment—and it looks like they’re just as likely (if not more) to be spending their viewing time watching classics and off-air content. And with streaming services at their fingertips, it seems the entire television archive is available for them to peruse. But what are their favorites?

In our latest survey on TV and entertainment we asked 1000 13-35-year-olds about their current favorite TV shows, but because we know that nostalgia viewing isn’t going anywhere,…


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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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