While the actual number of downloads has dropped, both LOST and Heroes topped the list of TV’s most downloaded shows, proving that geeks watch the most popular sci-fi shows on TV, just not on the actual TV machine. Heroes had actually topped the list in 2009, but the media surrounding LOST‘s final season most likely drew more viewers than Heroes‘ cancellation. According to TorrentFreak, “the most downloaded episode of Heroes is still exceeding the average viewership on US television.” Dexter, which moved up to third on the list, also experienced more downloads than TV viewers.
The high number of downloads as opposed to TV viewership is directly related to downloads outside the United States, where they often have to wait for weeks (or months) to see some shows. So while U.S. piracy has slightly declined (perhaps because of other viewing options including Hulu), fans from abroad who don’t want to risk falling behind their U.S. counterparts are taking part in the growth of on-demand TV.
The majority of this year’s most downloaded shows were not overly geeky, the real geek standbys on the list were limited to LOST, Heroes, and… shudder… The Big Bang Theory