Here’s the total number, according to a guy (i.e. misguided hero) who apparently went through Nielsen’s national TV ratings for the past 52 weeks to put this and a lot of other data together.
Most-watched show of 2015 in terms of total minutes viewed was Law & Order: SVU on USA with a staggering 161 billion minutes of viewing.— Michael Mulvihill (@mulvihill79) December 29, 2015
I don’t know if my brain can properly grasp the concept of 161,000,000,000 minutes of Law & Order: SVU. And it’s even more arguably astounding that the total there apparently doesn’t even account for first-run episodes on NBC, and only takes the syndicated reruns on USA. I can’t imagine how many more minutes would be thrown into that if NBC airings were also added in.
Currently in the middle of Season 17, Law & Order: SVU definitely has enough episodes to keep audiences happy for an entire year’s worth of repeats, with 375 of them, not counting crossovers on other shows. If we take every episode as a 42-minute installment, that means 3,833,333,333 viewings took place. Mindblowing. And if each of the 375 episodes was a part of it all, every episode would have been enjoyed around 10,222,222 times. I think.
In another tweet, Mulvihill provides his own astonishing correlation.
Think about that. That's 9 hours of watching Law & Order: SVU reruns this year for every man, woman and child in America.— Michael Mulvihill (@mulvihill79) December 29, 2015
Yet somehow, USA lost viewers this year.
Will 2016 be the year that people watch 162 billion minutes of Law & Order: SVU? We’ll have to wait and see. But until then, don’t forget to reconnect with the hit procedural when it returns to NBC for “Catfishing Teacher” on Wednesday, January 6, 2016.