Comparing Breaking Bad, Dexter, Mad Men and True Blood by different ratings

If you want to decide which show to watch by comparing critical reception, user votes and the amount of viewers, your life just got a bit easier. In this Silk site, we compare various ratings of television shows. 

Right now, we have the site populated with ratings from four popular shows that are currently airing: Breaking BadDexterMad Men, and True Blood. This information is accurate as of August 2012.

Following the critics

Metacritic aggregates reviews of professional and/or highly regarded critics and unifies them in a single score. Here is the rating of the picked series, on a per season basis:

Looking at this graph, we already have some findings:

  • All series except for True Blood start with a strong rating around the 7.5 mark for the first season.
  • All series see the strongest growth of their rating in the second season.
  • Breaking Bad outranks the other series, with a steady climb from 7.7 to a staggering 9.9 rating for the current running season.
  • Mad Men is the most consistent scoring show after the first season, staying between an 8.8 and 9.2 score.
  • Although Dexter scores better than True Blood overall, according to the critics the show takes a turn for the worse the last season.

Vox Populi I: Armchair critics

Metacritic also lets visitors of the site vote. Here is what they think about the shows:

Both graphs show a remarkable resemblance. Metacritic's users share the opinion of the critics when it comes to the overall rating of Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Dexter and True Blood switch places, with a relatively low rating of 7.2 and 6.5 respectively.

Differences can be seen in the overall lower rating except for Breaking Bad, making the show's high rating by the users even more remarkable. Where with the judgment of the critics only Dexter saw a sharp decline, here both Dexter and True Blood take a hit in the last season.

Vox Populi II:  Actual Eyeballs

With the Nielsen ratings pulled from Wikipedia, we can also plot a graph showing how many U.S. viewers each show has.

Despite that we miss some of these numbers, we can see that the Metacritic ratings and these numbers of viewers don't show much correlation. True Blood is truly in a league of its own.

 The sharp trough seen at number 38 can be explained because that episode was aired on July 3rd, the evening before the U.S. July 4th holiday. However, TVbytheNumbers  explain that "some will chalk the drop up to the episode being available for a week online via HBO Go". If you trust U.S. viewers more than you trust TV critics and the Metacritic users that voted, you might have a look at True Blood before anything else.

Show information, and detailed ratings

We made a page for each of the four shows with more information, detailed ratings from episode to episode from IMDB, and a trailer.

Breaking Bad