Rounded up in TorrentFreak’s annual Top 10 list of the most pirated television shows, Showtime’s Dexter has taken the top spot this year. The show details the life of a serial killer that works for the Miami police department as a blood spatter analyst while also juggling a family life. Dexter pushed HBO’s Game of Thrones to the number two position, but both shows had more illegal downloads of episodes than estimated U.S. television viewers during 2011. Other shows on the Top Ten list include CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Fox’s House, comedy sitcom How I Met Your Mother, singing drama Glee, AMC’s zombie hit The Walking Dead, science fiction show Terra Nova, HBO’s vampire-laden drama True Blood and AMC’s Breaking Bad.
While there are still millions of illegal downloads on the list, the number of downloads has dropped significantly over the year due to a large scale crackdown on both sites that list available torrents as well as the people that distribute torrents. Compared to the total number of illegal downloads on the Top 10 list during 2010, the total number decreased by 20 percent. The amount of shows that can be found online through Hulu or listed on network sites has also increased, thus reducing the amount of people seeking an illegal copy of a television program. However, the amount of House and Glee downloads have increased this year despite the show’s accessibility on Hulu. Fox did implement a 8-day window to delay recently released episodes in late July for anyone without a Hulu Plus subscription.
According to the torrent news site, the demand of television shows created in the United States still remains strong in both Europe and Australia. Viewers of U.S. television within these countries often have to wait weeks or months to gain access to the current season of a television show and people downloading illegal copies of these shows use that as justification to pirate new episodes.