Yanxi Palace most searched TV series

NEW YORK • Which is the most searched television show in the world on Google this year?

Game Of Thrones? No, it is Story Of Yanxi Palace.

Even if you are not a fan of Chinese TV serials, chances are, you would have heard about this palace drama.

After all, the Qing dynasty-era drama has become a huge phenomenon not just in China, but all across Asia, shattering viewership records in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Audiences loved that the show about catty concubines featured a strong female lead instead of the typical damsel in distress. They also praised the lavish costumes and make-up.

Story Of Yanxi Palace stars Chinese actress Wu Jinyan as leading character and palace maid Wei Yingluo, Hong Kong actress Charmaine Sheh as the villainous Consort Xian and Chinese actor Nie Yuan as Emperor Qianlong.

In China, the 70-episode series racked up a cumulative 13.3 billion views, which averaged about 190 million views an episode.

In comparison, the finale of Season 7 of the hit American fantasy epic series Game Of Thrones - the most watched episode in the series' history (not counting the pirated views) - was seen by 16.5 million viewers in the United States.

In second place on Google's list of most searched TV titles is Netflix series Altered Carbon, the cyberpunk noir thriller that is adapted from author Richard Morgan's 2002 novel of the same name. It stars Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy and Martha Higareda.

In third place is Thai period TV series Love Destiny, which is set in the Ayutthaya era from 1350 to 1767.

The drama has taken Thailand by storm, with many Thais visiting the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, about 80km north of Bangkok, and posing for photos dressed in traditional garb against the backdrop of the ruins, according to The Nation.

In fourth place is Motu Patlu, an Indian animated sitcom TV series adapted from the classic comic strip on Hindi magazine Lot Pot.

Rounding up the top five is American TV sitcom Roseanne. The show was axed in May after its star Roseanne Barr incited outrage for comparing Ms Valerie Jarrett, a former aide to ex-US president Barack Obama, to an ape on Twitter.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2018, with the headline 'Yanxi Palace most searched TV series'. Print Edition | Subscribe