The 27 most politically divisive shows on TV

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“Last Man Standing” stars Kaitlyn Dever and Tim Allen.
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ABC

  • INSIDER conducted a survey on viewers’ favorite shows currently airing on TV by asking them to list their top five.
  • One question also asked was about the viewers’ political affiliation.
  • From those results, we determined which were the most politically divisive shows on TV.

Though television shows may not actively lean in any one political direction, some tend to appeal more to one side of the political spectrum.

INSIDER conducted a survey and asked viewers to list their five favorite shows currently on TV. We also asked for political affiliations.

After breaking down the numbers and responses from participants who indicated they were moderately to strongly conservative or moderately to strongly liberal, INSIDER found which shows held the biggest divide between those groups. We excluded responses from those who said they fell into the middle range for political affiliation.

Here are the top 27 most divisive shows currently on TV.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,217 respondents, margin of error 3% with 95% confidence level, poll ran November 16 to 17.


“Last Man Standing” (Fox)

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Tim Allen and Nancy Travis star on “Last Man Standing.”
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Fox

Liberal: 0%

Conservative: 65%

Difference: 65%

“Last Man Standing” was canceled by ABC in 2016 after six seasons, but was picked up by Fox in 2018. Tim Allen plays a politically conservative family man who works as the marketing director for an outdoor sports store. Some other members of his family, including his wife, are more liberal.


“SEAL Team” (CBS)

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David Boreanaz, Neil Brown Jr., and Max Thieriot on “SEAL Team.”
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Skip Bolen/CBS

Liberal: 0%

Conservative: 65%

Difference: 65%

The series centers on an elite unit of the Navy SEALS as they train and complete missions.


“The Good Place” (NBC)

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Marc Evan Jackson, Tiya Sircar, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, and Kristen Bell on “The Good Place.”
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Colleen Hayes/NBC

Liberal: 59%

Conservative: 6%

Difference: 53%

Four humans find themselves discovering what it means to be good when they learn from a a demon and a programmed guide that there’s a point system that determines a person’s fate in the afterlife.


“Bob’s Burgers” (Fox)

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The Belcher family on “Bob’s Burgers.”
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Fox

Liberal: 57%

Conservative: 10%

Difference: 48%

The quirky, animated comedy centers on the Belcher family who own a burger restaurant.


“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC)

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Melissa Fumero, Andy Samberg, Terry Crew, Joe Lo Truglio, and Dirk Blocker on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
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John P. Fleenor/Fox

Liberal: 67%

Conservative: 20%

Difference: 47%

NBC picked up “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for a sixth season just a day after Fox canceled the series. The sitcom follows detectives and staff at a Brooklyn precinct as they solve crimes and hang out.


“American Horror Story” (FX)

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“American Horror Story: Apocalypse” was the newest season.
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FX

Liberal: 44%

Conservative: 9%

Difference: 35%

The horror anthology series from Ryan Murphy features a new story with new characters every season, yet the series is connected through certain plots and crossovers.


“Doctor Who” (BBC)

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Jodie Whittaker is the first female doctor.
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BBC

Liberal: 45%

Conservative: 14%

Difference: 32%

The Doctor travels through time and space and has the ability to regenerate into different bodies, meaning that a number of actors have been able to portray the character. Jodie Whittaker became the first woman to play the Doctor when she was cast in 2017.


“Outlander” (Starz)

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Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan on “Outlander.”
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Starz

Liberal: 50%

Conservative: 19%

Difference: 31%

Based on an incredibly popular book series, the show follows Claire, a woman who travels through time to 18th century Scotland and falls in love with a man named Jamie.


“Modern Family” (ABC)

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The cast of “Modern Family” together.
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Tony Rivetti/ABC

Liberal: 37%

Conservative: 7%

Difference: 30%

“Modern Family” is a mockumentary series that follows the experiences of three related families – a nuclear family, a step-family, and a same-sex family.


“Better Call Saul” (AMC)

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Bob Odenkirk stars on “Better Call Saul.”
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AMC

Liberal: 53%

Conservative: 27%

Difference: 27%

“Better Call Saul” is a prequel and spin-off of “Breaking Bad” that follows lawyer Jimmy McGill’s transformation into scam artist and criminal Saul Goodman.


“New Amsterdam” (NBC)

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Ryan Eggold stars on the show.
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NBC

Liberal: 11%

Conservative: 37%

Difference: 26%

“New Amsterdam” is based on the book “Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital,” and follows a doctor hired as the new medical director at a hospital who seeks to upend the hospital’s bureaucratic system.


“Blue Bloods” (CBS)

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Tom Selleck stars on the series.
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John Paul Filo/CBS

Liberal: 18%

Conservative: 42%

Difference: 24%

The series centers on a family of New York City cops and follows their familial and personal relationships.


“Live PD” (A&E)

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Dan Abrams hosts and is joined by Tom Morris Jr. and Sgt. Sean “Sticks” Larkin.
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A&E

Liberal: 6%

Conservative: 29%

Difference: 24%

“Live PD” broadcasts live footage of police officers during their night patrols.


“Young Sheldon” (CBS)

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Iain Armitage stars on “Young Sheldon.”
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Robert Voets/CBS

Liberal: 39%

Conservative: 17%

Difference: 22%

“The Big Bang Theory” spin-off explores the life of Sheldon Cooper as a 9-year-old genius.


“Game of Thrones” (HBO)

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Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington star on “Game of Thrones.”
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HBO

Liberal: 37%

Conservative: 16%

Difference: 21%

HBO’s hit show is set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and follows various families in the realms as they fight for the Iron Throne or freedom. There are dragons and White Walkers and giants in this fantasy series.


“The Good Doctor” (ABC)

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Freddie Highmore stars on “The Good Doctor.”
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Eike Schroter/ABC

Liberal: 20%

Conservative: 40%

Difference: 20%

Freddie Highmore plays a skilled doctor with autism in this medical drama.


“Chicago PD” (NBC)

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Amy Morton and Jason Beghe on “Chicago PD.”
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Matt Dinerstein/NBC

Liberal: 19%

Conservative: 37%

Difference: 19%

The fictional police drama is one of three series on NBC focused on a public service department in Chicago. “Chicago PD” follows the Chicago Police Department who solve crimes in the city.


“Chicago Fire” (NBC)

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Miranda Rae Mayo and Taylor Kinney on “Chicago Fire.”
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Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Liberal: 14%

Conservative: 32%

Difference: 18%

“Chicago Fire” centers on the team of firefighters and paramedics who work in Chicago. It is one of three fictional series on NBC focused on a public service department in Chicago.


“Rick and Morty” (Cartoon Network)

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Rick the scientist is Morty’s grandpa.
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Adult Swim via YouTube

Liberal: 36%

Conservative: 18%

Difference: 18%

The adult cartoon follows the adventures of mad scientist Rick and his grandson Morty.


“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC)

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Mariska Hargitay stars on “SVU.”
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Michael Parmelee/NBC

Liberal: 32%

Conservative: 14%

Difference: 18%

“Law & Order: SVU” centers on a Special Victims Unit of a New York City police precinct. The series has been on TV since 1999.


“The Goldbergs” (ABC)

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Wendi McLendon-Covey stars on “The Goldbergs.”
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Nicole Wilder/ABC

Liberal: 35%

Conservative: 18%

Difference: 18%

“The Goldbergs” is about a family in the ’80s and a kid who documents his childhood on camera.


“How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC)

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Viola Davis stars on “How To Get Away With Murder.”
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Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Liberal: 18%

Conservative: 0%

Difference: 18%

Death always seems to follow defense attorney and law professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and her law students in this drama.


“NCIS” (CBS)

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Rocky Carroll and Mark Harmon on “NCIS.”
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CBS

Liberal: 20%

Conservative: 36%

Difference: 16%

This police series revolves around a team at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigate Naval and Marine Corps crimes.


“Hawaii Five-0” (CBS)

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Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale on “Hawaii Five-0.”
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CBS

Liberal: 21%

Conservative: 37%

Difference: 16%

This remake of the original series from the ’60s covers a special Hawaii police task force backed by the state’s governor.


“Chopped” (Food Network)

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Ted Allen hosts “Chopped.”
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Food Network

Liberal: 32%

Conservative: 16%

Difference: 16%

Former “Queer Eye” cast member Ted Allen hosts this Food Network competition show for chefs.


“Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)

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Ellen Pompeo stars on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
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Eric McCandless/ABC

Liberal: 32%

Conservative: 17%

Difference: 15%

Dr. Meredith Grey is at the center of Shonda Rhimes’ medical drama that follows the lives of doctors and residents at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in Seattle.


“Stranger Things” (Netflix)

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Millie Bobby Brown stars on “Stranger Things.”
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Netflix

Liberal: 33%

Conservative: 18%

Difference: 15%

Supernatural creatures from an alternate dimension descend upon the small town of Hawkins, Indiana and its residents in Netflix’s horror series.