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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Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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