A year ago, I ranked the top 12 most popular TV shows shot in metro Atlanta.
There are not a lot of changes with the exception of VH1's "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta" exploding on the scene, a big jump in ratings for "The Walking Dead" and major erosion for "Necessary Roughness" and "Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse." I've also expanded the list to 14.
These numbers are compiled from Nielsen data I received from the actual networks or online on sites such as www.tvbythenumbers.com. I excluded "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," which is shot well outside metro Atlanta and two syndicated shows, "Family Feud" and "Dish Nation" (which includes "The Rickey Smiley Morning Show.")
I'm basing these rankings only on overnight numbers, which are the most accessible but not reflective of total viewing. With online access and DVR usage, these numbers could grow 20 to 50 percent, or more.
Two shows are off the list from a year ago: TBS's "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" ended its run and MTV's "Teen Wolf" is no longer shot in Atlanta.
1- "The Walking Dead" AMC (in the middle of season 3): This drama has become a true phenomenon, now the most popular cable drama with viewership exceeding virtually all broadcast programs as well. Its 18-49 ratings now exceed "American Idol" and "Modern Family." 10.5 million (year earlier: 6.5 million, ranked first)
2- "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta" VH1 (season two is in production): This became a monster surprise hit for VH1, increasing audience sharply from episode one to the crazy reunion shows: 3.5 million (new)
3- "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" Bravo (in the middle of season 5): Ratings, thanks to the arrival of Kenya Moore, are up over season four. 3.1 million (year earlier: 2.8 million, ranked fifth)
4. "The Vampire Diaries" the CW (fourth season airing) This CW staple has seen overnight ratings steadily decline but viewership is clearly shifting to other places. It's still the network's most popular program. 2.8 million (year ago: 3 million, ranked fourth)
5. "The Game" BET (sixth season debuting later this month) This CW expat has been a strong performer for BET but its numbers have been falling over time. Some of its final episodes season five were barely drawing 2 million viewers in first viewing. 2.6 million (year ago: 3.4 million, third)
6. "Necessary Roughness" USA (third season about to go into production): Despite a sharp drop in viewership for its sophomore season, this drama about a sports therapist survived for a third season. 2.5 million (year earlier: 4.2 million, ranked second)
7. "Drop Dead Diva" Lifetime (fifth season about to start production). Ratings held steady from season four but Lifetime cancelled it, then reinstated it. 2.3 million (year ago was 2.3 million, too, ranked ninth)
8. "Single Ladies" VH1 (third season about to go into production) This show saw a lift in ratings over its first season, fueled partly by the success of its compatible lead in "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta" 2.2 million (up from 1.8 million, ranked 10th a year ago)
9. "T.I. & Tiny" VH1 (third season in production): This sturdy family show about Atlanta rapper T.I. lost some viewership in its second season last fall but still earned a third season. 2 million (year earlier: 2.5 million, ranked 6th)
10. "Sunday Best" BET 1.9 million (up from 1.8 million a year ago, ranked 11th)
11. "Let's Stay Together" BET 1.9 million (down from 2.2 million a year ago, ranked 9th)
12. "Archer" FX (fourth season airing) Ratings have gone up steadiliy for this animated series, earning it a fifth season. 1.5 million (up from 1.3 million)
12. (tie) "Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse" TBS (second season concluded, third season moving to OWN). 1.5 million (down from 2.4 million, ranked 7th last year at this time)
14. "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" TLC (fifth season just debuted): 1.4 million (more or less steady)