What Is the Favorite TV Show in Illinois?

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The very first television broadcast happened almost a century ago, on Sep. 7, 1927. Since that fateful day, TV has evolved into a mass media beloved by Americans.

We watch TV to follow the news. We watch to check out the big game and track the bets we’ve made at Illinois sportsbooks. But we also watch for the great series that have us chattering around the proverbial water cooler, both in-person and online.

So. in celebration of National Television Day on Nov, 21, IllinoisBet.com has decided to take a break from covering Illinois online casinos to shine a spotlight on the best TV shows of 2023 — according to the states’ residents.

To make our determination, we began with a long list of the top 50 most-watched TV shows from 2023, per IMDb. Then we used the search engine analyzer AhRefs.com to whittle that list down to the five shows that have seen the most web traffic this year. That top five includes: “The Mandalorian,” “The Bear,” “Ted Lasso,” “The Last of Us,” and “Succession.” Finally, using Google Trends, we tracked each shows web footprint in Illinois since the beginning of 2023.

The Top 3 TV Shows in Illinois

By our numbers, these are the top three best 2023 TV shows in Illinois.

Rank, Show Percentage of Searches Network
1. The Last of Us 24% HBO
2. Ted Lasso 21% AppleTV+
3. The Bear 20% Hulu


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Illinois Loves ‘The Last of Us’

Not only is “The Last of Us” the top show in Illinois, but when we ran the numbers for all 50 states, the HBO hit was the favorite in 43 states total, and No. 2 in the other seven. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, where the world has been devastated by a fungal-infection that transforms people into zombie-like monsters, “The Last of Us” follows a smuggler, Joel (Pedro Pascal), who must lead a young girl who is immune to the disease safely across the country in hopes of finding a cure. Adapted from the ultra-popular 2013 video game, the series lingered in development for nearly a decade before it was finally brought to life courtesy of screenwriter Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, who was the video game’s original developer.

No. 3 Is Set in Illinois

While the “Star Wars” spin-off show “The Mandalorian” ranks as the No. 2 series in Illinois, the No. 3 series, “The Bear,” is set in the state — specifically, Chicago. In fact, Illinois was the only state where “The Bear” cracked the Top 3. A gripping look at the culinary world, the series stars Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, a highly decorated chef who inherits his family’s Italian beef sandwich shop. Throughout the show’s first two seasons, you can see plenty of Chicago landmarks, and the soundtrack is loaded with Chicago bands — most notably Windy City rock icons Wilco. As tense and anxiety-inducing a “comedy” as you ever will see, FX recently announced the “The Bear” has been renewed for season 3.


Jeff Parker is an entertainment writer for IllinoisBet.com. A writer for film, television and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with an actual Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full time as documentary filmmaker and producer.

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