It’s easy to forget that celebrities and the world’s richest people still have time to watch TV – well, at least occasionally! Next time you’re in the mood to watch TV, why not check out one of the programs that’s high on the list of your favorite celebrities? Over the past few months, plenty of famous faces have come right out and shared with the world (often via Twitter) what they think the best TV series are. We’ve discovered the favorite TV shows of politicians such as US President Barack Obama, singers such as Rihanna and Iggy Azalea, and actors such as Lea Michele and Lena Dunham.
TV series have wildly grown in popularity (and in profits) in the past decade. Modern Family, Dexter, X Factor USA, Glee, Desperate Housewives, Breaking Bad and Lost are just a few examples of TV series which have had high ratings and viewership in the millions – and many celebrity followers. TV watching has been taken to a new level in recent years, thanks to providers such as Netflix where you can watch a whole series (or as much of a series as you want) on demand. Netflix has over 40 million subscribers worldwide, including more than 30 million in the USA. It has attracted a lot of attention for its exclusive programs such as House of Cards and the company is thought to be worth as much as $20 billion.
Read on to find out the top 10 TV series that your favorite celebrities like to watch (and in some cases binge watch). We’ve included what celebs have to say about the series, as well as key facts and figures on the shows. Now all that’s left to do is check out the details and pick one of these top 10 TV series for a TV marathon!
10 Homeland – Jennifer Lawrence
Golden Globe-winning show Homeland captured the heart of 23-year-old Jennifer Lawrence and we heard all about it at the 2014 Golden Globes. A reporter accidentally let slip the details of a shocking death at the end of season three during a red carpet interview with Lawrence. As she hadn’t yet watched the episode, Lawrence was visibly devastated about the spoiler. Homeland is a political thriller/drama starring Claire Danes who plays CIA agent Carrie Mathison. On average, the Showtime program has brought in over two millions views per episode. Danes is one of the highest paid TV celebrities, reportedly getting paid about $250,000 per episode for her work on Homeland, which ends up being about $3 million per year.
9 The Walking Dead – Carrie Underwood
This zombie-filled AMC series was renewed for a fifth season in October 2013. AMC apparently makes about $8 million per episode. Carrie Underwood is so obsessed with this program that she agreed to be the show’s Valentine on February 14 when they tweeted her, “@carrieunderwood please be mine? xoxo”! Australian singer Iggy Azalea is a Walking Dead fan, as is Felicia Day (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Ashley Tisdale and Sarah Silverman. The show’s creator Frank Darabont was fired by AMC in late 2013. He has recently accused AMC of unfairly depriving them of millions of dollars in profits. He alleged that AMC’s licence fee ($1.45 million per episode) covers only 65% of production costs. Apparently the show’s production deficit could be as high as $71 million.
8 The Vampire Diaries – Chris Colfer
The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural TV series, which has recently been renewed for a sixth season. Glee stars Heather Morris (who plays Brittany) and Chris Colfer (who plays Kurt) both love the show. Morris was quoted as saying “It’s Twilight to me, but I get it every week” while Colfer mentioned that he feels “like a teenage girl” when he watches the show. Singer and mother of two Jessica Simpson said watching the show turned in a “minor obsession” of hers. The series has been hugely successful, reportedly bring in an average of $61,887 for a 30-second advertising spot according to a 2012 survey by Ad Age (more than shows such as CSI: NY).
7 The Bachelor – Jennifer Aniston
It might be a surprising choice for famous celebrity actors, but it seems that a lot of famous people can’t get enough of this long-running reality TV series. Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman and Andrew Garfield (of Spiderman) are all fans. Comedian Jason Biggs has even taken to live tweeting episodes of The Bachelor each week with his wife. Currently in its 18th season, this dating game show is based around female contestants competing for the love of one eligible bachelor. The show doesn’t pay contestants for their appearance but apparently reimburses some costs (and the winner gets true love, of course!). The show’s host is thought to earn about $60,000 per episode.
6 Mad Men – Jerry Seinfeld
This 1960s AMC drama, based on the lives of those in the advertising industry, has its fair share of celebrity endorsements. Some fans include Emmy award-winning Scandal actor Dan Bucatinsky and comedian/actress Tina Fey. Jerry Seinfeld was quoted in Entertainment Weekly as saying: “...for a guy like me who has a 60s fetish, Mad Men’s like the cavalry coming to the rescue.” Mad Men stars Jon Hamm and will finish in 2015 with its seventh season. Its budget per episode is estimated to be between $2 million and $3 million. Producers are estimated to earn less than that per episode from AMC, however that does not include international sales and Netflix streaming contracts, worth hundreds of millions.
5 Real Housewives – P. Diddy
It seems as though nearly every celebrity has watched at least one of the Real Housewives reality series franchises. The show, which follows the lives of rich housewives and businesswomen, has become a TV phenomenon around the world. Some famous fans of this top TV series include Glee star Lea Michele, pop star Christina Aguilera, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lawrence. Rapper P. Diddy is reportedly an addict of the show, having admitted to visiting fan chat rooms to discuss the ins and outs of the show. NeNe Leakes, who stars in Real Housewives of Atlanta, is thought to be the highest earning star, earning about $1 million per season.
4 Game of Thrones – Lea Michele
Game of Thrones has got plenty of famous celebrities talking in the past couple of years. Glee actress Lea Michele has said she’s “so obsessed with it, it’s disgusting” and that she can’t stop watching it. Seth Green has raved about the show, Barack Obama is a fan and Troian Bellisario (who stars in Pretty Little Liars) has talked about how she thinks the show is so good it’s “on another level”. This show is a fantasy drama series, based on the books by George R. R. Martin. Each episode reportedly costs about $6 million to produce and filming has taken place in Croatia, Northern Ireland and Iceland. Game of Thrones season four begins on HBO in April 2014.
3 Scandal – Michelle Obama
Girls star Lena Dunham is very forward about her love for TV show Scandal. She’s even said that her life’s “great passion” is one day being a guest actress on the series. America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, said that she watched the show on a long flight to Hawaii recently and that she loves star actress Kerry Washington. Homeland star Claire Danes is also reportedly an avid watcher of this show, which is a political thriller. Washington, who is the star of the show, was one of 2013’s highest paid TV actresses, earning an estimated $3 million.
2 Breaking Bad – Ellen de Generes
Despite this show wrapping up with its fifth and final season in 2013, it’s made it onto our list thanks to the sheer number of celebrities who have declared their love for it. Breaking Bad is a crime drama TV series, and it reportedly cost about $3 million to $3.5 million to produce each episode. Famous people who have watched the AMC show include Barack Obama, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Jimmy Kimmel, James Van Der Beek and billionaire Warren Buffett. Alyssa Milano tweeted during the last episode, saying “Goodbye #breakingbad, yo”, as did talk show host Ellen DeGeneres who said “...No more murderous drug dealers and horrifying criminals. I miss it already.”
1 House of Cards – Barack Obama
At number one on our list of top 10 TV show celebrities are watching is House of Cards. This show is a political drama TV series starring actor Kevin Spacey. Exclusively available on Netflix, season two of this Emmy award-winning series was released in full on February 14, 2014. It’s estimated that about 2% of Netflix users binge watched the entire season that same weekend – including The Vampire Diaries stars Kat Graham and Nina Dobrev (who tweeted “#OMG #HouseOfCards #ZoeBarnes” after watching season two’s first episode). United States President Barack Obama wasn’t shy about announcing his love for the show either. After its release, he tweeted “Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please.” This series is widely thought have cost Netflix about $50 million per 13-episode season to produce.