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The Top Trending TV Shows in 2020, According to Google

The Top Trending TV Shows in 2020, According to Google

These TV shows helped define 2020

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

As Americans adjusted to spending more time indoors in 2020, the pursuit of ways to stay entertained became a daily challenge. Baking bread, becoming DIY experts and learning new skills were some of the activities that got us through one of the most bizarre years to date. But nothing helped more than the television shows that allowed us to escape our reality. 

In a year defined by staying apart, happy shows on Netflix and Hulu brought us closer together, and family sitcoms and dramas united us with our distant loved ones. 

Out of all of the shows we watched and loved, these were the top trending shows in Google searches in 2020.

‘Tiger King’

‘Tiger King’

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2020 somehow feels like the longest and shortest year to date. So if you thought the Netflix cat-loving phenomenon "Tiger King" debuted years ago, we can understand why. Released in March, "Tiger King" follows Joe Exotic, a country-singing operator of a big cat park in Oklahoma, and his nemesis, Carole Baskin, as the two fight over who has the right to own big cats and attempt to ruin each other's life. In its first 10 days, "Tiger King" had over 34 million U.S. viewers, and in April, the show held the top spot as the most-watched show on Netflix.

‘Cobra Kai’

‘Cobra Kai’

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Fans of the 1980 hit "The Karate Kid" might best remember Daniel LaRusso as the young kid who was able to defeat bully Johnny Lawrence thanks to the help of Mr. Miyagi. "Cobra Kai" explores how that epic fight defined Daniel and Johnny's life decades after Daniel claimed victory and how one event can change your life forever. Originally distributed by YouTube, "Cobra Kai" is available on Netflix.

‘Ozark’

‘Ozark’

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Jason Bateman, once known for his deadpan humor in productions like "Arrested Development" and "Horrible Bosses," is the Emmy award-winning actor and creator of "Ozark." "Ozark" — which also stars Laura Linney — examines how a financial adviser and his family must adjust to life in the Missouri Ozarks while struggling to please a drug boss and locals who aren't happy about unwanted company. "Ozark," available on Netflix, has received 32 Emmy nominations. 

‘The Umbrella Academy’

‘The Umbrella Academy’

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Based on a comic book series written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, "The Umbrella Academy" is an apocalyptic superhero whirlwind with a fantastic soundtrack.  Billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopts seven children with a range of extraordinary powers and creates the Umbrella Academy. The siblings work together to save the world and stop crime. Years later, after the death of their father, the group reunites, only to realize that a larger threat — other than their disagreements — is looming. "The Umbrella Academy" — in all its chaoticness — is available to stream on Netflix.

‘The Queen's Gambit’

‘The Queen's Gambit’

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In the show’s first 28 days on Netflix, 62 million member accounts tuned in to watch "The Queen's Gambit,” which made the top 10 in 92 countries and took the top spot in 63 countries. "The Queen's Gambit," which chronicles the life of a young, orphan girl as she rises to fame in the world of chess, was so popular that chess set sales grew 125% after the show premiered.  "The Queen's Gambit" is the perfect show for both chess and drama lovers. It's available to stream on Netflix. 

‘Little Fires Everywhere’

‘Little Fires Everywhere’

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Adapted from the 2017 novel written by Celeste Ng, "Little Fires Everywhere" follows the life of a Black mother and her child as they integrate into the predominantly white neighborhood of Shaker Heights and find their lives intertwined with the "impeccable" Richardson family. Emmy nominated actress Kerry Washington and Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon lead the show into all its greatness as each episode explores the complexities of race, motherhood and unlikely friendships. “Little Fires Everywhere” is available to stream on Hulu.

‘Outer Banks’

‘Outer Banks’

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

When it came to teen dramas, Netflix series "Outer Banks" dominated in 2020. John B, along with his three best friends, hunt for a treasure that might connect to his father's disappearance. There's only one season of "Outer Banks" available to stream, but there's a rumor that Season 2 is on the way. 

‘Ratched’

‘Ratched’

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Ryan Murphy is the king of over-the-top productions that range from the terror of "American Horror Story" to the sparkliness of the upcoming musical "Prom." His latest creation, "Ratched," follows that trend. "Ratched" follows the life of Mildred Ratched, a young nurse at a mental hospital, years before she makes her way to the institution at the heart of the 1962 novel and 1975 film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." The show is glossy, thrilling and a must-watch for horror fans. "Ratched" is available to stream on Netflix. 

‘All American’

‘All American’

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"All American" is a layered, inclusive family drama that is rich with complex characters and dynamic storytelling. The show follows high school teenagers, but it escapes the pitfalls often reserved for teen dramas. "All American" tells the story of Spencer James, a South Crenshaw high school football star who moves to Beverly Hills with his coach to pursue his dreams and exert his talents. Drama ensues, but this CW show melds the importance of family and a love for football into one wonderful combination.  

‘The Last Dance’

‘The Last Dance’

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Michael Jordan, the former Chicago Bulls NBA player, needs no introduction. His name alone is synonymous with greatness. ESPN's "The Last Dance" dives into Jordan's rise to fame and the key figures — like Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson — who were also part of the Bull's success. The 10-part documentary is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and turmoil, hitting on memorable moments, like when Jordan retired to play baseball and when Rodman went MIA for a week. Available on Netflix, "The Last Dance" is a docuseries that tells the story of the 1990s Bulls as you've never seen them before. For more on what was trending this year, here are the top trending searches for sports teams.

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