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'Chuck,' 'Gossip Girl' Top Most Pirated TV Show List

by Chris Harnick, posted Dec 1st 2010 5:40PM
You're not likely to see 'The Walking Dead' and '90210' show up on the same list very often. Well, except for torrent website Pirate Bay's ranking of the most pirated TV shows.

It's no surprise that premium cable shows are ranked throughout the list, but the other random entries make it hard to pin down any sort of overall trend.

There are genre shows such as 'Chuck' and 'The Walking Dead,' both of which have a strong niche audience. Then there's '90210' and 'Gossip Girl.' They would indicate an already known fact: Young, tech-savvy viewers are doing the downloading. But there are some surprises, like one very popular Canadian series and several US shows that pull in mediocre ratings.

Check out the full list, courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter, below.

1. 'Chuck'
2. 'Gossip Girl'
3. 'The Event'
4. 'Dexter'
5. '90210'
6. 'Lie to Me'
7. 'The Walking Dead'
8. 'Boardwalk Empire'
9. 'Lost Girl'
10. 'True Blood'

Many of the shows have already carved out a niche audience, one that spans countries and continents. Hulu only being available in the U.S. and networks restricting their content based on location could explain a number of these shows making the top 10.

The CW's shows, 'Gossip Girl' and '90210,' are not always readily available via official online channels. The CW's target audience of young women align with that of 'Lost Girl,' a supernatural Canadian drama.

'Dexter,' 'True Blood' and 'Boardwalk Empire' air on premium cable channels so their presence is explained easily. 'Chuck,' 'The Event' and 'The Walking Dead' are popular among genre fans and they are generally more tech-savvy than an average audience member. 'Lost Girl' could be lumped into that category too. Plus, 'Chuck' and 'The Event' air in competitive time slots. But, the question remains: Who is downloading 'Lie to Me'? Is there a massive international audience? Insatiable Tim Roth fan base?

All shows listed are hour-long programs, so where are the comedies? The majority of half-hour shows do not have series long stories, whereas dramas generally do. Comedies are easier to come in and out of, you miss an episode of 'Two and a Half Men' and it's not the end of the world. If you miss an episode of 'Dexter,' you could be missing a very crucial twist.

Tell us: Do you watch any of these shows? Why do you think they made the list?

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I live in the UK and download a lot of US shows such as The Office, Chuck, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire and True Blood purely because it takes so long for our networks to pick them up and broadcast them

For example, our FX Channel (one of our 'cable channels') is not showing season 3 of True Blood until the New Year and it won't be shown on Channel 4 (one of our national networks) until next summer at the earliest! By this time I'll be downloading season 4, when it's shown in the US!

Therefore, I check out what's new and recommended by the guys at TV Squad and download it!

December 06 2010 at 5:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

'Lost Girl' is an interesting case -- it would almost certainly do well on SyFy (or probably the CW) but it's just a bit too racy and sweary for those networks, and it's not raunchy *enough* for Starz, Showtime, et al. And it's finally starting to get away from the lazier aspects of its concept (supernatural case-of-the-week featuring a hot, bisexual succubus with a mysterious past).

And Malfoy Roark, you have good taste if you like 'Being Erica'. Season three has taken a long time to get cooking, and I gather the ratings are disappointing, but I hope Soapnet's 2011 numbers justify a fourth season. It's a great show.

December 02 2010 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I still download chuck (up to current episode) but havent watched it since mid of season 3.

I didnt my files through torrents though, more like file hosting services, much faster especially in 3rd world country and older episodes.

From what i see in the forums, big bang theory got the lionshare of links posted on the day that its on air.

December 02 2010 at 2:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, I pay for cable and netflix already (even though I never use them just trying to get the money to the content makers), plus I could easily record it on my pc via my capture card and cut out the commercials myself. Piracy just lets me do what I could already do more efficiently.

I do feel bad these shows get left out of the neilsons, but with Chuck innovating product placement so well, at least it is less of an issue.

December 01 2010 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I remember in 2004/5 one of the top downloads was always Arrested Development. Naturally it got cancelled straight away because of the awful Neilsen way of rating...

December 01 2010 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Chuck Season 4 STILL isn't available on iTunes!!! Maybe THAT'S why!!! Get on it Warner Bros!!

December 01 2010 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Malfoy Roark

I used to watch Chuck but stopped after the 1st season.

I'm trying to watch the event. The first few episodes were good then it dropped off a bit. I tried to watch episode 10 on the dvr but then I realized i missed episode 9 somehow so I had to (wait for it...) dl it. The event is definitely a show you can't miss an episode of.

I watch Lost Girl. Show caught me by surprise. I won't name the site i get my shows from but i'll watch any show that's a series premiere to see what its about(I had no idea what it was when I dled it). Surprisingly good. I don't think its the best thing to come from Canada (for me at least, that belongs to Being Erica, which I discovered the same way and I'm pretty sure Soap.net is a season behind). But yea, the only way for me to view this (I'm in the US) is to dl it. I'm guessing it targets the same types who watched Buffy(I didn't) and they need their fix.

I've been watching Lie to Me since episode 1 and will continue. I like it for the same reason I like Law and Order: each episode tells its own pretty good story and the overall story arc is minimal so it is okay to miss an episode.

Boardwalk Empire I've been watching since ep1. It's an HBO show about mobsters, even those who don't have HBO (I do) are going to find a way to watch it.

Gossip Girl made the list because it's great escapist television. I've been watching since episode 1 (Never read the books so can't compare). GG has been the highpoint of my Monday night television since it premiered. Unless you have a predisposition to hate on rich people (I have a friend who just doesn't like shows about rich people), I advise anyone to watch the first few episodes of this show.

The one thing I will say in particular about 3 of shows on the list that might contribute to the torrenting a bit: The Event (NBC), Gossip Girl (CW), and Lie To Me (FOX): THEY ALL COME ON MONDAY NIGHT AT 9PM EST. I'm not sure how many families have multiple DVRs or at least have a DVR that can record more than 2 shows, but something more than likely has to get torrented or its getting missed.

December 01 2010 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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