NBC Universal has licensed the medical drama to 250 territories worldwide so far. But the show’s popularity in Europe is startling. In France, it averaged 9.3 million viewers per episode for broadcaster TF1 during its latest season – up 30% on the previous season. Last year, Italian channel Canale 5 averaged 4.7 million viewers when it showed House on Sunday nights. Germany was not far behind with 4.2 million viewers for broadcaster RTL. It’s also incredibly popular in Poland, where TV2 averaged 3.3 million viewers per episode, and in the Netherlands, where it averaged 793,000 for SBS6.
Television ratings analyst Mediametrie rated House the most popular U.S. import across 29 territories in 2008. And it looks set to do that again in 2009. Almost 72 million people outside of the U.S. watched the show’s most popular episode. House romped ahead of its closest rivals, CBS’ CSI: Las Vegas (57.7 million) and CSI: Miami (51.3 million). Other hit U.S. exports included Buena Vista’s Lost and Desperate Housewives. TV trade Television Business International predicts that Flash Forward and NCIS would make onto the 2009 list.
Mediametrie isn’t due to publish its 2009 data until June.