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Dark Dramas Light Up Millennials’ Screens

The Walking Dead. Game of Thrones. House of Cards. Pretty Little Liars. These are shows that have captured the ever-elusive eyeballs of the millennial demographic in recent years. What do these programs have in common? They’re all dark. The leads are often antiheroes who can be be angry, pessimistic, sometimes violent and/or generally complex.

A recent Investigation Discovery-commissioned report on the dark side of television drama concludes that millennials in particular are drawn to post-apocalyptic shows as well as shows that feature conflicted and flawed leaders and heroes. For instance, The Walking Dead is the most watched series on cable and broadcast television among persons 18-49 and millennials 18-34. In addition to their love for dark, scripted programming, this is a group that is far less likely to watch TV in real-time, unless it’s a live event.

This analysis looks into the most-popular shows and networks among the millennial set. What type of content is drawing 20- and early 30-somethings to their TV sets? Is it these dark dramas? Sports? Live events? Ratings Intelligence examined the viewing habits of the linear TV-hungry millennial — and yes, they do exist.