The most popular shows of 2020 included some strange outliers that no one would have expected back in 2019. Whether it was a classic children's action show gaining a new life on Netflix or a chess drama somehow sweeping the nation, a lot of the most talked-about shows of 2020 came as a complete surprise.
There are plenty of reasons a show can be a surprise hit. Maybe it came out in a programming lull where there weren't other new shows to compete with. Maybe it was just a fantastic show, and word of mouth slowly grew its audience week to week, regardless of the fact that it was already on its second or third season. Or, like in the case of Tiger King, maybe the subject matter was just too unbelievable to be ignored. In a year when everyone had a lot more time to be at home watching TV, the TV shows we were obsessed with in 2020 covered a lot of ground.