What were the top trending shows in 2012? Some of the answers, as supplied by Google, may surprise you.
While Nielsen ratings can certainly give a general overview of a show's popularity throughout the year (despite the fact that the measurement system is outdated, according to journalists and industry insiders alike) in our increasingly tech-savvy world, it's online relevance that really determines a show's cultural cachet.
But while trending on the world's most well-known search engine is an impressive feat, topping Google's list isn't a guarantee of ratings dominance -- on the contrary, two of the shows that made the Top 10 were cancelled this year.
Check out the full list of the Top 10 Trending TV Shows of 2012 below.
1. "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"
2. "The Voice"
3. "American Idol"
4. "Big Brother 14"
5. "X Factor"
6. "666 Park Avenue"
8. "Dance Moms"
9. "The New Normal"
10. "Switched At Birth"
It's no surprise that reality competitions such as "The Voice," "Big Brother" and "X Factor" (which often involve fans searching for elimination results post-episode) scored so highly, and given the public's morbid fascination with TLC's "Honey Boo Boo," she was sure to be a fixture. The more interesting additions appear further down the list.
"666 Park Avenue" and "Alcatraz" were both cancelled during their first seasons, while "The New Normal," which focuses on a gay couple who choose to have a baby through a surrogate, received plenty of controversy courtesy of One Million Moms and their reactions to its progressive subject matter. ABC Family's "Switched at Birth" was the network's highest rated premiere to date, dealing with two girls who were accidentally switched at the hospital and grew up with the wrong parents. The show has already garnered praise for its realistic and nuanced examination of disability and race. Though there are many reasons why TV fans might flock to the web to learn more about a show, the list gives an interesting insight into what got audiences buzzing in 2012.
Do you watch any of the shows listed on Google's trending list?
Bristol Palin told "Inside Edition" she's a fan of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." "I'm a Honey Boo Boo fan, definitely," she told Inside Edition by way of New York Daily News. "More power to her for having such a successful show."
Anderson Cooper had Honey Boo Boo and her mother June on his talk show and even has a cutout of the pint-sized reality star in his office.
Rosie O'Donnell said she wants to meet the Thompson/Shannon family and buy them a house. "I think that little girl, Honey Boo Boo, she is like Shirley Temple," O'Donnell told People about the reality star. "She has a presence and an intellect that goes way beyond her years."
Tina Fey told The Huffington Post that she and the "30 Rock" writers watch "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" at work. "[E]very day at lunch our writers take a little break and watch a TV show and most times it's 'Honey Boo Boo' or 'Breaking Amish' ..." she said.
Britney Spears and Ke$ha tweeted at each other, both referencing terms from Honey Boo Boo's "Toddlers & Tiaras" appearance.
Snooki took to Twitter to express her love of Honey Boo Boo. "I honestly love the family honey boo boo has!" she tweeted.
Sammi, Deena and Jenni of "Jersey Shore" told The Huffington Post they watch "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." "I would love to meet her. I've been a fan of hers since 'Toddlers & Tiaras.' I just think that her family is amazing," Jenni told HuffPost TV. "The mom is like the ultimate mom and they have a lifestyle like ours -- it's completely different, only some people get it, but at the end of the day, we're all a huge, loving family and same with her family. Her mother is all about her kids and just loves them and even though they're different and act crazy like we do, they only have love for the world. So I wish them the best and I hope they're very successful because they deserve it. They are very entertaining."