Every Country’s Best Rated TV Shows (According to IMDb)

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Television is more exciting than it has ever been – whether you use a state of the art 75 Inch TV or if you don’t even use a TV at all to watch your favorite show!

Today’s great American and British shows are watched around the world the moment they are released and everyone has their own favorite Scandi crime series. But while some TV is instantly universal, other wonderful shows are little-known outside their country of origin.

Using IMDb user ratings as our guide, we identified the most popular TV shows produced in every country around the world. In cases where we couldn’t find a highly-rated series produced in a given country, we looked for TV shows filmed in or with a story line set in the area.

We found some real must-sees in among this diverse collection. The show with the top rating is from Sri Lanka. Koombiyo (Ants) is a crime drama about a homeless man who gets caught up in the world of organized crime. Koombiyo has a 9.8 rating on IMDb but its future is in doubt as the show’s main writer has mysteriously gone missing.

2019 has been a fantastic year for TV so far. Our study found that new shows have gone straight to the ‘all-time’ number one spot in Brunei, Congo, and Malawi.

Where in the world will your couch take you next?

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North America

Canada’s top choice show is one of the longest-running on the list. The X-Files captured the public’s imagination when it launched in 1993 and earned its place as an all-time classic. FBI agents Mulder and Scully remain an iconic duo today, investigating the crimes and unexplained events the government sought to bury.

Costa Rica’s favorite show is also a long-runner. La Pensión debuted in 1999, and is still running twenty seasons later. It is a light-hearted comedy about a luxurious boarding house that has fallen on hard times, and the colorful characters that live there.

Most popular TV series in North America

Europe

The UK, France, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries all boast huge international hits. The UK number one, Sherlock, updates Arthur Conan Doyle’s 19th-century detective serial to modern day London, with the international movie star Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role.

Germany and France have had worldwide success with their answers to The X-Files. German show Dark is an often confusing and sometimes scary time travel series. Les Revenants (The Returned) tells the spooky tale of what happens when a town’s dead people begin to reappear alive and well.

Most popular TV series in Europe

Asia

The 2018 South Korean television series Miseuteo Syeonsyain (Mr. Sunshine) is the country’s top-rated show on IMDb. It has broken viewership records at home and been distributed internationally by Netflix. Mr. Sunshine is a period drama about a Korean boy born into slavery in the 1900s, and Korea’s fight for independence.

Taiwan’s latest hit is a 10-part drama series following the fates of all who were involved in a fatal shooting – the victims, the killer, the media, and those caught up in the trial. Thailand is represented by a love story from 2018, called Love By Chance. It has a rating of 8.6 on IMDb.

Most popular TV shows in Asia

South America

The top-rated Argentine TV series is a cross between and The A-Team and Quantum Leap. Los Simuladores (The Pretenders) follows a team of con artists who create ornate fake situations to solve regular peoples’ problems. It was popular enough to be remade in Spain and Mexico.

Venezuela’s highest-scoring show is a 1992 telenovela called Kassandra. Oddly, it was the most-watched show in Bosnia-Herzegovina when a local TV company showed a pirated version during the Bosnian War. “We are completely different cultures and miles apart, but I think we all have a common denominator, which is love,” explained Kassandra’s leading lady, Coraima Torres.

Highest rated TV shows in South America

Africa

The most popular local TV show in Morocco is a crime reenactment series that creates dramas out of old cases from court archives. At one point, over half of viewers in Morocco aged under 22 would tune in to Moudawala (Deliberation) to see the latest episode.

Recent Kenyan comedy-drama Sue na Jonnie is a mistaken-identity crime show that has captured imaginations in Kenya and abroad. Its far-fetched storylines and authentic Mtaani (street culture) humor have earned it a 9.4 rating on IMDb.

Most popular TV series in Africa

Oceania

The Almighty Johnsons is a 2011-2013 comic fantasy series about a family of Norse gods living in modern day New Zealand. It was popular enough for viewers to successfully demand a third series after the show was cancelled.

Australia’s highest-rated show is the break-out space opera Farscape. The cult show is now celebrating its twentieth anniversary. Many of its original stars used the show as a launchpad into other top science-fiction shows and movies.

Highest rated TV shows in Oceania

As our maps show, there is no shortage of interesting and diverse series to watch when you know where in the world to look. Why not watch one of these hit shows tonight? You might just find your new favorite show!

Methodology

We used IMDb to find TV shows produced in each country and sorted them by User Rating to find the highest-rated shows. In many cases the shows with the highest ratings had too few votes to constitute a reliable sample, so we sorted the list by Number of Votes to find the highest-rated show with the highest number of votes.

For cases where no shows were produced in a given country, we identified highly-rated TV shows that had been filmed in or had a story line set in the country. Those cases were flagged in the research sheet: http://bit.ly/TheWorldsFavoriteTVshows

COUNTRY TV SHOW YEAR IMDb RATING GENRE
Afghanistan Afghan Star 2005- 7.1 Reality TV
Albania Besa 2018- 8.9 Crime
Algeria Sultan Ashour 10 2015- 8.2 Comedy
Angola Jikulumessu 2014-2015 8.1 Drama
Argentina Los Simuladores 2002-2004 9.1 Mystery
Armenia Chaos 2019- 9.4 Drama
Australia Farscape 1999-2003 8.3 Adventure
Austria Braunschlag 2012- 8.3 Drama
Azerbaijan Balta 2018- 8.5 Animation
Bahamas Island of Bryan 2019- 7.9 Adventure
Bahrain Arabia Motors 2017- 6.9 Reality TV
Bangladesh Aaj Robibar 1990 8.5 Comedy
Barbados Keeping Up with the Joneses 2011- 7.9 Comedy
Belarus Turtl’ Pavr! 2012-2018 7.4 Animation
Belgium In de Gloria 2000-2002 8.7 Comedy
Belize Mad Dogs 2015-2016 7.5 Comedy
Bhutan Princess and I 2012–2013 7.6 Comedy
Bolivia Sigo siendo el Rey 2016– 7.4 Drama
Bosnia and Herzegovina Lud, zbunjen, normalan 2007- 8.4 Comedy
Botswana Saving Sirga: Journey into the Heart of a Lion 2017 8.1 Documentary
Brazil O Mecanismo 2018- 8.7 Crime
Brunei Aseudal Yeondaegi 2019- 7.8 Drama
Bulgaria Pod prikritie 2011-2016 8.9 Action
Canada The X-Files 1993- 8.7 Crime
Chile 31 Minutos 2003-2014 8.4 Comedy
China (People’s Republic of China) Meteor Garden 2018- 8.3 Drama
Colombia Pablo Escobar: El Patrón del Mal 2012 8.5 Biography
Congo (Democratic Republic of the: Kinshasa) The Widow 2019- 6.9 Thriller
Costa Rica La Pensión 1999- 7.4 Comedy
Croatia Bitange i princeze 2005- 8.4 Comedy
Cuba Algo más que soñar 1991- 7.5 Drama
Cyprus Vourate Geitonoi 2001-2004 7.9 Comedy
Czech Republic Cetnické humoresky 1997- 8 Comedy
Denmark Forbrydelsen 2007-2012 8.4 Crime
Dominican Republic Trópico 2007- 7 Drama
Ecuador Enchufe.tv 2011- 7.6 Comedy
Egypt Wannous 2016- 8.6 Drama
Estonia Litsid: The Whores 2018- 8.8 Drama
Finland Madventures 2002- 9.2 Documentary
France Les Revenants 2012- 8.2 Drama
Georgia Tiflisi 2014- 9.1 Action
Germany Dark 2017- 8.7 Crime
Ghana An African City 2014- 8 Comedy
Greece Sto Para Pente 2005-2007 8.5 Comedy
Guyana Guyane 2016- 7.5 Drama
Hungary Aranyélet 2015- 8.9 Action
Iceland Ófærð 2015- 8.1 Crime
India Sacred Games 2018- 8.9 Action
Indonesia Si Doel Anak Sekolahan 1996- 8.4 Comedy
Iran Shabhaye Barareh 2005-2006 8.3 Comedy
Iraq Kurd Idol 2017- 8.4 Reality TV
Ireland Love/Hate 2010-2014 8.5 Crime
Israel Shtisel 2013- 8.8 Drama
Italy Gomorrah 2014- 8.7 Crime
Jamaica A DAY IN THE LIFE OF TYLER1 2018- 9.3 Adventure
Japan Death Note: Desu nôto 2006-2007 9 Animation
Jordan Al Hajjaj 2003- 7.9 Drama
Kazakhstan Kazakh Khanate 2017- 8.5 History
Kenya Sue Na Jonnie 2017- 9.4 Drama
Kosovo Çka ka Shpija 2015- 8.3 Comedy
Kuwait Swar Shuaib 2014- 8.2 Talk Show
Kyrgyzstan Born in the USSR 1991– 8.7` Documentary
Latvia Liktena Lidumnieki 2003- 9.3 Drama
Lebanon (Republic of Lebanon) Al Hayba the Comeback 2018 8.1 Action
Liechtenstein Ferdy 1984- 6.7 Animation
Lithuania Starkaus & Radzeviciaus keliones 2006- 9.3 Documentary
Luxembourg Comeback 2012-2013 7.9 Comedy
Macedonia Prespav 2016-2019 8.6 Comedy
Madagascar Madagascar 2011- 8.5 Documentary
Malawi The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind 2019 7.6 Drama
Malaysia Saladin 2010- 8.9 Animation
Malta Division 7 2016- 8.9 Action
Mexico Narcos: Mexico 2018- 8.4 Crime
Mongolia Marco Polo 2014–2016 8.1 Drama
Montenegro Budva na pjenu od mora 2012- 7.1 Drama
Morocco Moudawala 2019- 9.6 Crime
Nepal Himalaya Roadies 2017- 9.2 Reality TV
Netherlands Penoza 2010-2017 8.3 Crime
New Zealand The Almighty Johnsons 2011-2013 8.2 Drama
Nigeria Tinsel 2008- 8 Drama
Norway Skam 2015-2017 8.7 Drama
Pakistan Enaaya 2019- 9.2 Drama
Panama Quién TV 2013- 8.3 Comedy
Paraguay González vs. Bonetti 2005- 7.8 Comedy
Peru Latin Lover 2001- 9.2 Drama
Philippines Mara Clara 2010-2011 8.6 Crime
Poland Kryminalni 2004- 7.2 Crime
Portugal Odisseia 2013- 8.6 Comedy
Qatar Imam 2017 9.3 Biography
Romania Umbre 2014- 8.8 Crime
Russia Kukhnya 2012- 8.5 Adventure
Saudi Arabia Khawatir 2005- 9.4 Reality TV
Serbia Senke nad Balkanom 2017- 9.1 Crime
Singapore Serangoon Road 2013 7.1 Crime
Slovakia Za sklom 2016- 8 Action
Slovenia Truplo 2018- 8.8 Comedy
South Africa Black Sails 2014-2017 8.3 Adventure
South Korea Miseuteo Shunshain 2018- 8.8 Drama
Spain La casa de papel 2017- 8.6 Action
Sri Lanka Koombiyo 2017-2018 9.8 Crime
Sweden Bron/Broen 2011-2018 8.7 Crime
Switzerland The Team 2015- 7 Crime
Syria Al-Zeer Salem 2000- 9.1 Action
Tanzania Siri ya Mtungi 2012 8.6 Drama
Taiwan (Republic of China) Wo men yu e de ju li 2019- 9.3 Crime
Thailand Love By Chance 2018- 8.6 Romance
The Gambia Roots 1977 8.3 Drama
Tunisia Choufli Hal 2005–2009 9.4 Comedy
Trinidad and Tobago Westwood Park 1997-2004 6.3 Drama
Turkey Leyla and Mecnun 2011-2014 9.1 Adventure
Uganda Beneath The Lies 2014-2016 8.6 Crime
Ukraine Nyukhach 2013- 7.3 Action
United Arab Emirates Farouk Omar 2012- 9 Biography
United Kingdom Sherlock 2010- 9.1 Crime
United States of America Breaking Bad 2008–2013 9.5 Crime
Uruguay Voces anónimas 2006- 7.7 Horror
Vanuatu Love Patrol 2007– 7 Drama
Venezuela Kassandra 1992- 7.2 Drama
Vietnam Gap nhau cuoi nam: Tao quan 2003- 9.2 Comedy
Zimbabwe Studio 263 2002- 9.1 Drama

 

Sources

Keen to find out more about some of the series on our maps? Here is the full list of top shows, their genres and IMDb rating, country-by-country. For the full research behind this project, visit http://bit.ly/TheWorldsFavoriteTVshows

Abby Olcese

Abby Olcese is a writer and film critic. She loves the Midwest, movies, comics, and her cat, Buster.