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The most searched for TV shows of 2023

From soaps to high-end drama, there was a lot to look up this year

It's been a busy year on TV in 2023, but there were certain shows that piqued viewers' interest the most. (Sky/ITV/BBC)
It's been a busy year on TV in 2023, but there were certain shows that piqued viewers' interest the most. (Sky/ITV/BBC)

2023 has been another busy year on television, and even with a writer's and actor's strike taking place this year there's been a lot of shows that interested viewers.

From thrilling shows coming to an end, to breakout hits and drama-filled soaps, people have been looking up all their favourite shows and stand-out TV moments.

Read more: The most searched for actors of 2023

The results, which were pulled from hundreds of millions of searches on Yahoo UK in the past 12 months, reveal that these are the ten shows viewers have been looking up the most.

10 | Death in Paradise

Shantol Jackson and Ralf Little star in Death In Paradise. (BBC)
Shantol Jackson and Ralf Little star in Death In Paradise, which aired its twelfth season in 2023. (BBC)

BBC's murder mystery series returned for its twelfth season in January, with DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) on the case in the Caribbean. The new episodes led into a spin-off titled Beyond Paradise that marked the return of Kris Marshall as DI Humphrey Goodman, while the show and its spin-off are also set to return for Christmas specials. Given its continued success, it's no surprise it was one of the most-searched for shows of the year.

9 | Neighbours

Rebekah Elmaloglou (Terese) in Neighbours. (Freevee)
Rebekah Elmaloglou (Terese) in Neighbours, which made its big comeback after being cancelled in 2022. (Freevee)

2023 was a year of celebration for Neighbours because it marked the Australian soaps return after it was cancelled in 2022. The series returned triumphantly in September and has been delighting audiences with the next chapter in the story, as well as the return of some familiar faces.

8 | The Long Shadow

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THE LONG SHADOW
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Pictured: TOBY JONES as DCS Dennis Hoban and LEE INGLEBY as DCS Jim Hobson.


This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk.  This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms

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Toby Jones and Lee Ingleby in The Long Shadow, which retells the investigation into the Yorkshire Ripper case. (ITV)

True crime has always been a fascination for many viewers, particularly if they are focused on a notorious serial killer. ITV's drama The Long Shadow is about the investigation into the deaths of several women in Yorkshire and the five-year manhunt for Peter Sutcliffe, aka The Yorkshire Ripper. The limited series starred Toby Jones, David Morrisey, and Daniel Mays amongst others, and put the focus onto the women who were harmed by Sutcliffe, rather than the killer himself.

7 | Yellowstone

Yellowstone S5 (Paramount)
Yellowstone released the first half of its final season in 2023. (Paramount)

Taylor Sheridan has become the king of TV in the US thanks to his hit show Yellowstone and its many spin-offs for Paramount+, and it seems Sheridan-fever has hit the UK as well as the creator's Western has become an important search topic. Though Yellowstone's search interest this year can also be traced to the drama around Kevin Costner's departure from the series, and the subsequent news that the series will come to an end with its fifth season.

6 | Wednesday

Wednesday. (L to R) Thing, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in episode 104 of Wednesday. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in Wednesday. (Netflix)

Combine a beloved brand with an irresistible dance number and you've got yourself a hit show on your hands, at least that's what Wednesday proves. The Netflix series reimagined the Addams Family in a different way, by focusing on the original Goth Girl herself Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) and her exploits at her new school of gifted individuals.

5 | Happy Valley

Happy Valley S3,15-01-2023,3,Ann Gallagher (CHARLIE MURPHY) & Catherine Cawood (SARAH LANCASHIRE),Lookout Point,Matt Squire
Charlie Murphy and Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley Season 3. (BBC)

BBC's hit crime drama Happy Valley returned for its third and final season in 2023, which saw Sarah Lancashire's Sergeant Cawood go up against James Norton's Tommy Lee Royce for the last time. Fan theories around the show consumed viewers in the lead up to its finale, making the show one of the most searched for programmes of the year.

4 | The Last of Us

Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller & Bella Ramsey as Ellie Williams in The Last Of Us. (HBO/Sky)
Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller & Bella Ramsey as Ellie Williams in The Last Of Us, which kicked off the year in style. (HBO/Sky)

2023 got off on a great start in the TV landscape thanks to The Last of Us, HBO's live-action adaptation of Naughty Dog's game of the same name. The series stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie, two characters thrust together ten years after a deadly virus took over the planet and infected much of humanity until they became mindless, flesh-eating creatures. Recreating the game with stunning accuracy, it's no wonder the series was one of the most searched for programmes of the year.

3 | Emmerdale

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO
Print media - No Use Before Tuesday 7th November 2023
Online Media - No Use Before 0700hrs Tuesday 7th November 2023

Emmerdale - 9836

Wednesday 15th November 2023

In Hospital, Mack Boyd’s [LAWRENCE ROBB] guilt deepens as he promises worried Chloe he’ll always be there for her if she collapses again. But will he? 

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Mark Bruce

This photograph is (C) ITV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Lawrence Robb as Mack Boyd in Emmerdale, who is at the centre of a kidnapping plot on the soap. (ITV)

Soaps are always full of drama, so it comes as little surprise that they have been the most searched for shows of the year. 2023 was a busy one on Emmerdale from drama with the Dingles to Mack's kidnapping, and the forthcoming Christmas special will likely also be of interest for the shocks it will likely have in store for viewers — and a cameo from Torvill and Dean.

2 | EastEnders

EastEnders,04-01-2024,6834,Cindy Beale (MICHELLE COLLINS),****EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 12TH DECEMBER 2023****,BBC PUBLIC SERVICE,Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Michelle Collins returned to EastEnders as Cindy Beale in 2023. (BBC)

EastEnders has been making some big changes this year, bringing a number of fan favourites back (some from the dead) in order to reinvigorate the soap. It has worked because the BBC series is one of the most searched for shows of the year, and its success will likely to continue with its Christmas special which centres on a big murder plot that has been teased as The Six.

1 | Coronation Street

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Before Tuesday 3rd October 2023

Coronation Street - Ep 1107980

Monday 9th October 2023

On the canal towpath, Tim Metcalfe [JOE DUTTINE] finds a discarded boat hook and starts poking about in the water when a corpse’s hand floats to the surface.  Fleeing back to his cab, Tim dials 999 and reports finding a dead body.  But the phone cuts out and before he can call back, Tim’s aghast when Stephen Reid [TODD BOYCE] climbs into the back seat of the cab. As Stephen tries to strangle him with a tie, Tim makes a bid for freedom but trips on his shoelace and, as he clambers to his feet, he’s knocked unconscious by Stephen with a brick.

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Coronation Street saw residents be tormented by serial killer Stephen Reid (Todd Boyce) in 2023. (ITV)

There was only one soap to come on top this year though: Coronation Street. The ITV soap has given the citizens of Weatherfield a lot to contend with this year, including serial killer Stephen Reid (Todd Boyce). And the series will culminate in an explosive Christmas special which will see a beloved fan favourite depart the series at the end of the year.