The Most Watched On Demand TV Shows of 2015: Empire, Game of Thrones Are Tops

Michael Schneider
Empire
Photographed by Justin Stephens for TV Guide Magazine on November 1, 2015 at The Langham, Chicago. Henson's Hair: Hair Department Head Melissa Forney/Criterion Group. Makeup: Ashunta Sheriff. Howard's Hair: Nolan Kelly. Grooming: Makeup Department Head Beverly Jo Pryor/Demalogica/Criterion Group. Costume Designer: Paolo Nieddu. Henson's dress: Versace; Earrings and ring: Kenneth Jay Lane; Bracelet: Michael Kors. Howard's Jacket: Dries Van Noten; Shirt, pants, cuff links: David August

“Stacking” is becoming the on-demand norm.

Until recently, networks and studios have resisted posting more than four episodes at a time on demand. But according to Comcast Cable, that’s starting to change: More than 700 series are now “stacked” (which means that entire seasons are available) on its Xfinity On Demand service, up from six series just three years ago.

“TV shows are becoming more sophisticated, almost like a novel,” says Steve Meyer, Comcast’s vice president for data strategy and analytics. “No one’s going to enter a book half-way through. Customers are looking for something complete. This is what stacking helps accomplish.”

Meyer says Fox’s Empire is a perfect case study. The show was “stacked,” which means all of its episodes continued to be available throughout the year. In Comcast homes, 15% of subscribers watched the show’s pilot on demand, and 1.6 million homes watched the premiere episode of Empire a month or more after its premiere.

Empire was like a comet, a perfect storm,” Meyer says. “We think Empire is a great case study for how on-demand viewing is the trend overall.”

Empire’s season 1 was the most-watched on-demand show among Xfinity subscribers in 2015; the top 20 includes most of the biggest series on TV, including The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and The Walking Dead. But there are some surprises too.

“Reality soaps are very popular on demand,” says Meyer, pointing to Keeping Up with the Kardashians at No. 12.

Here were the most-watched on-demand series this year on Comcast’s Xfinity on Demand:

Top 20 TV Series
1.       Empire (season 1), Fox
2.       Game of Thrones (season 5), HBO
3.       The Big Bang Theory (season 8), CBS
4.       Modern Family (season 6), ABC
5.       Empire (season 2), Fox
6.       Dance Moms (season 5), Lifetime
7.       Family Guy (season 13), Fox
8.       Power (season 2), Starz
9.       The Blacklist (season 2), NBC
10.     The Walking Dead (season 5), AMC
11.     Ballers (season 1), HBO
12.     Keeping Up with the Kardashians (season 10), E!
13.     Last Man on Earth (season 1), Fox
14.     Scandal (season 4), ABC
15.     Outlander (season 1), Starz
16.     Impractical Jokers (season 4), TruTV
17.     Mr. Robot (season 1), USA
18.     NCIS (season 12), CBS
19.     Blackish (season 1), ABC
20.     Blindspot (season 1), NBC

Top 10 Drama
1.       Empire (season 1), Fox
2.       Game of Thrones (season 5), HBO
3.       Empire (season 2), Fox
4.       Power (season 2), Starz
5.       The Blacklist (season 2), NBC
6.       The Walking Dead (season 5), AMC
7.       Ballers (season 1), HBO
8.       Scandal (season 4), ABC
9.       Outlander (season 1), Starz
10.     Mr. Robot (season 1), USA

Top 10 Comedy
1.       The Big Bang Theory (season 8), CBS
2.       Modern Family (season 6), ABC
3.       Family Guy (season 13), Fox
4.       Last Man on Earth (season 1), Fox
5.       Blackish (season 1), ABC
6.       The Big Bang Theory (season 9), CBS
7.       Fresh Off the Boat (season 1), ABC
8.       Girls (season 4), HBO
9.       The Simpsons (season 26), Fox
10.     The Middle (season 6), ABC

Top 10 Reality  
1.       Dance Moms (season 5), Lifetime
2.       Keeping Up with the Kardashians (season 10), E!
3.       Impractical Jokers (season 4), TruTV
4.       Bring It! (season 2), Lifetime
5.       Love & Hip Hop Atlanta (season 4), VH1
6.       Big Brother (season 17), CBS
7.       The Bachelorette (season 11), ABC
8.       The Bachelor (season 19), ABC
9.       America’s Got Talent (season 10), NBC
10.     Teen Mom OG (season 5), MTV

Top 10 New Series (Fall 2015)
1.       Quantico, ABC
2.       Blindspot, NBC
3.       Scream Queens, Fox
4.       Limitless, CBS
5.       Heroes Reborn, NBC
6.       Supergirl, CBS
7.       Bastard Executioner, FX
8.       Code Black, CBS
9.       Grandfathered, Fox
10.     Rosewood, Fox

Top 10 Kids

  1. Teen Titans Go!, Cartoon Network
  2. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Disney Jr.
  3. Sponge Bob SquarePants, Nickelodeon
  4. PAW Patrol, Nick Jr.
  5. The Amazing World of Gumball, Cartoon Network
  6. Caillou, Sprout
  7. Disney Mickey Mouse Short, Disney Channel
  8. Steven Universe, Cartoon Network
  9. K.C. Undercover, Disney Channel
  10. Jessie, Disney Channel

Top 10 Latino

  1. El señor de los cielos, Telemundo
  2. Dueños del paraíso, Telemundo
  3. El Chavo Animado, Univision
  4. Caso Cerrado, Telemundo
  5. Mi corazón es tuyo, Univision
  6. Tierra de reyes, Telemundo
  7. Señora Acero, Telemundo
  8. Avenida Brasil, Telemundo
  9. Que te perdone Dios, Univision
  10. Celia, Telemundo

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