Some shows get more attention than others, plain and simple. Big, blockbuster series like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead garner an unprecedented amount of media attention, but what does that actually translate to? Just because the shows are big on the Internet doesn't mean they're necessarily the most popular on TV...in fact, it's actually quite the opposite.
Whereas Game of Thrones is basically worshiped online, it's not quite as popular when it comes to regular TV broadcasts - it's not even in the top three shows on television. Neither are other Internet-popular shows like Flash or Gotham - for the most part, television is still dominated by sitcoms and police procedurals.
It's true: the most popular show on television is NCIS.
It's amazing, seeing as how NCIS barely gets any sort of press coverage whatsoever, while a show like Game of Thrones seems to dominate social media every other day. According to Harris Poll (via Entertainment Weekly), NCIS is easily the most popular show on television, followed by The Big Bang Theory and The Walking Dead...Game of Thrones only hit #4.
Again, it's surprising simply because of how much coverage shows like Game of Thrones receive non-stop: NCIS somehow flies under the radar and manages to absolutely crush its other competitors. On the other hand, everyone knows what The Big Bang Theory is, but everyone on the Internet seems to hates it now. Sure, that must mean that no one else watches it, right?
Of course, there are plenty of other dramas and sitcoms on the list, but nothing comes close to NCIS, The Big Bang Theory or The Walking Dead: even taking individual demographics into account, these three shows are basically uncontested. While it's true that not every demographic ranks the shows in the same way (men prefer The Walking Dead over The Big Bang Theory, while women prefer the opposite), the entire list is basically a toss-up between the police drama and the nerdy sitcom.
Will this new information completely turn the Internet on its head? Will Internet-goers finally accept The Big Bang Theory into their hearts? Will NCIS be as big as the Marvel Cinematic Universe someday?
No, of course not - but it's a great example of the fact that, just because the Internet likes something doesn't mean it's the majority opinion.