What people say they like and what they actually spend time doing are two very different things. While writers on the Internet tends to focus on premium television like Hannibal and Mad Men (guilty), or cult staples like Sons of Anarchy, the vast majority of people could not give less of a shit about this type of entertainment. Admit it: when you plop down on the couch it isn't The Knick you're usually watching—it's Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
To show show you just how skewed our perception of entertainment actually is, we did some quick-and-dirty searches on Google trends to find out what people actually care about. For this installment, we focused on the Fall season's most hyped dramas and comedies (reality TV really deserves its own article). Of course what someone's Googling may not translate to ratings (though it usually has some correlation), but it does show that what people want to read about on the Internet isn't always what you assume is popular.
To start, let's take a look at five buzzed-about shows right now: American Horror Story, Black-ish, Boardwalk Empire, Gotham, and Homeland.
Despite what you may have assumed, the two that dominate aren't network newcomers, but cable dramas. Homeland, despite having a terrible last couple of seasons, is still going strong. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the American Horror Story still has people talking.
Now let's look at The Blacklist, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, and newcomer Jane the Virgin.
The Walking Dead, both a ratings juggernaut and fan favorite, is still hugely popular. Scandal one of the top-rated shows on television, also posts some impressive numbers, even managing to edge out The Walking Dead over the last few days. Sons of Anarchy fits comfortably in the middle of the pack, consistent with its status as a cult favorite. Perhaps most interesting, though, is Jane the Virgin: the new sitcom has received a big advertising push from the CW, but Internet attention is essentially nill. While that doesn't necessarily mean it'll be a dud in the ratings, it can't bode well.
Though The Walking Dead and American Horror Story may be the overall winners when it comes to Internet chatter, take a look at all of the 2014 data below for individual shows. What's working and what isn't could surprise you.