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There’s no shortage of death on TV these days. You can hide behind the sofa all you like, but there’s no escaping it. Say goodbye to your favourite characters, because they could be killed off at any moment.

But which is the deadliest TV show of them all? Which series will happily kill off heroes on a weekly basis, with no regard for the fans at home?

The results may surprise you.

Spoilers ahead: read on at your own risk

Black mirror

Death Count: 387,063

Creator: Charlie Brooker

No. of seasons: 4

Original release: 2011 – present

Genre: Sci-Fi, Anthology

IMDb:
8.9

Rotten Tomatoes:
94%

Technology has transformed the world around us, finding its way into nearly every part of society. But with each new advancement comes a new world of potential risks and fears. Black Mirror plays into these fears, stoking our collective paranoia by asking what if?

As an anthology series, Black Mirror doesn’t have a returning cast or a continuous plot. Instead, each episode stands alone. Dealing more in psychological than physical threats, people may be surprised to see Black Mirror top our list. However, in season 3’s Hated in the Nation, a spine-chilling 387,036 people are killed by ADIs (Autonomous Drone Insects), following the #DeathTo online campaign. Be careful what you tweet.

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GAME OF THRONES

Death Count: 174,373

Creators: David Benioff, D. B. Weiss

No. of seasons: 7

Original release: 2011 – present

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

IMDb:
9.5

Rotten Tomatoes:
96%

Originally adapted from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice, Game of Thrones is no stranger to death. With a plot centred around the violent power struggles in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, epic battles are commonplace, which makes for a high body count.

As well as entire armies of extras, Game of Thrones has no problem killing off major characters in increasingly gruesome ways. Throughout the series we’ve seen characters stabbed, poisoned, torn apart, beheaded, burned alive, eaten by dogs (and rats), have their eyes gouged out, and even have molten gold poured on their head.

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Humans

Death Count: 110,059

Creators: Sam Vincent, Jonathan Brackley

No. of seasons: 3

Original release: 2015 – present

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi

IMDb:
8.0

Rotten Tomatoes:
86%

Based on the Swedish show Real Humans, Humans explores the theme of artificial intelligence, consciousness and what it is that makes us human. The series imagines a world in which virtual assistants have been taken to the next level, in the form of humanoid robot servants called Synths.

While the first and second seasons of Humans had a relatively low body count, it’s the aftermath of the season 2 finale which brings the total up. Season 2 ends with Mattie uploading the consciousness code, waking up Synths around the world, which leads to total chaos and approximately 110,000 deaths.

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24

Death Count: 16,115

Creators: Robert Cochran, Joel Surnow

No. of seasons: 9 (+ 1 TV film - 24: Redemption)

Original release: 2001 – 2014

Genre: Action, Thriller

IMDb:
8.4

Rotten Tomatoes:
76%

Action series 24 follows counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer as he races against time to thwart terrorist plots and save America from various foreign and domestic threats. Filmed in real time, each season takes place over a 24-hour period, bringing a new meaning to ‘a day in the life’.

Throughout 9 seasons (and one direct-to-TV movie), 24 tallies up a total of 16,115 deaths. This includes 12,000 in a single episode in season 6, which sees a nuclear bomb detonated, destroying the town of Valencia, California.

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BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

Death Count: 10,892

Creators: Glen A. Larson, Ronald D Moore

No. of seasons: 4

Original release: 2004 – 2009

Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure

IMDb:
8.7

Rotten Tomatoes:
96%

Set in a distant star system, Battlestar Galactica follows the adventures of the crew and passengers on the interstellar warship Battlestar Galactica. Those on board are believed to be the last remaining 50,000 humans, following a devastating attack on all 12 human colonies by the Cylons, an android race of their own creation. The show is a race against time, as the crew attempt to flee the Cylons and search for the fabled 13th colony, Earth.

This reimagining of the 1978 series of the same name is much darker in tone than the original, exploring how the survivors would react to the near-destruction of the human race and loss of billions of lives.

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the 100

Death Count: 4,411

Creators: Jason Rothenberg

No. of seasons: 5

Original release: 2014 – present

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama

IMDb:
7.8

Rotten Tomatoes:
83%

Set 97 years after a nuclear Armageddon ravaged the planet and sent the surviving population to the stars, The 100 follows a group of 100 juvenile prisoners as they’re sent back to Earth to see if it’s habitable. However, as they try to survive in increasingly hostile conditions, they soon find out that they’re not alone.

From the very first episode, The 100 makes it clear that viewers can never get too comfortable. Men, women and children are killed with reckless abandon, showing that no characters are safe from a violent, brutal ending.

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Supernatural

Death Count: 4,301

Creators: Eric Kripke

No. of seasons: 13

Original release: 2005 – present

Genre: Fantasy, Drama

IMDb:
8.5

Rotten Tomatoes:
78%

After losing their mother to a mysterious demonic force as children, Sam and Dean Winchester’s father raised them to be warriors. Supernatural follows the brothers as they travel the backroad of America in their Chevy Impala, hunting and destroying monsters, demons, ghosts and all manner of other supernatural beings.

With the Winchesters encountering new evil beings to battle in each episode, Supernatural racks up an impressive number of often gruesome deaths. In fact, there have only been six episodes through its 13 seasons to date which have not involved a death of any kind.

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The walking dead

Death Count: 1,946

Creators: Frank Darabont

No. of seasons: 8

Original release: 2010 – present

Genre: Horror, Drama

IMDb:
8.4

Rotten Tomatoes:
87%

In another post-apocalyptic series, The Walking Dead paints a picture of a world overrun by zombies (or walkers). The show follows Rick Grimes and a group of survivors as they struggle to navigate a dangerous new world, searching for refuge and fighting off constant threats from both walkers and opposing groups of survivors.

The Walking Dead has featured some of the most shocking and brutal deaths of any of our shows so far, making it hard to single one out. However, seeing Abraham and Glenn die at the hands of Negan and his barbwire-wrapped baseball bat, Lucille, is something not many fans will be able to forget.

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ncis

Death Count: 981

Creators: Donald P. Bellisario, Don McGill

No. of seasons: 15

Original release: 2003 – present

Genre: Action, Drama

IMDb:
7.9

Rotten Tomatoes:
40%

NCIS follows a team of special agents working for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. As the primary law enforcement and counterintelligence arm of the U.S. Navy, they’re tasked with investigating all crimes involving Navy and Marine Corps personnel.

With the first episode hitting our screens way back in 2003, NCIS is the second longest running scripted, non-animated U.S. primetime series currently airing, and the 7th longest running scripted U.S. primetime series overall.

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the vampire diaries

Death Count: 598

Creators: Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec

No. of seasons: 8

Original release: 2009 – 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Drama

IMDb:
7.8

Rotten Tomatoes:
82%

Set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, The Vampire Diaries focusses on Elena Gilbert, a young high school student, and Stefan and Damon Salvatore, two vampire brothers who both fall for Elena. Throughout the show, the Salvatore brothers battle for Elena’s affection, while also trying to protect her and the town from various threats, both natural and supernatural.

Due to the supernatural nature of the show, once a character dies, there’s no guarantee that they’ll stay dead. It’s not uncommon to see certain characters brought back to life, just to die all over again.

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SONS OF ANARCHY

Death Count: 370

Creators: Kurt Sutter

No. of seasons: 7

Original release: 2008 – 2014

Genre: Crime, Drama

IMDb:
8.6

Rotten Tomatoes:
85%

Sons of Anarchy is a generations-spanning crime drama, which follows the lives of a renegade motorcycle club as they try to balance protecting their hometown and running guns themselves. The show explores various themes, including loyalty, vigilantism, corruption, racism and more.

Various parallels have been drawn between the fictional motorcycle club SAMCRO and the Hells Angels, with the series including a number of appearances from real Hells Angels members.

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ONCE UPON A TIME

Death Count: 336

Creators: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz

No. of seasons: 7

Original release: 2011 – 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Drama

IMDb:
7.8

Rotten Tomatoes:
64%

Once Upon a Time follows the adventures of Emma Swan, who moves to the fictitious town of Storybrooke where things aren’t quite what they seem.

After being reunited with her long-lost son, Emma discovers that she’s actually the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, and may hold the key to saving the residents of Storybrooke – who are all characters from classic fairy tales, cast out of the Enchanted Forest and robbed of their original memories by the Evil Queen.

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breaking bad

Death Count: 271

Creators: Vince Gilligan

No. of seasons: 5

Original release: 2008 – 2013

Genre: Crime, Drama

IMDb:
9.5

Rotten Tomatoes:
96%

Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad tells the story of Walter White, a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher. After being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, Walter teams up with his former student Jesse Pinkman to begin manufacturing and selling crystal meth as a way to provide his family with financial security.

Over the course of 5 seasons, we get to track the duo’s descent into the darkest depths of the criminal underworld, seeing just how far a good man can fall when faced with his own mortality.

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fear the walking dead

Death Count: 252

Creators: Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson

No. of seasons: 4

Original release: 2015 – present

Genre: Horror, Drama

IMDb:
7.0

Rotten Tomatoes:
67%

Based on the comic book of the same name, Fear the Walking Dead is a spin-off of the main Walking Dead series. Set in Los Angeles, the show depicts the very start of the zombie apocalypse, following three families as the world around them spirals rapidly out of control.

Unlike the original series, which explores the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse and the lengths people will go to in order to survive, Fear the Walking Dead jumps in much earlier, allowing us to watch in real-time as a modern society collapses before our very eyes.

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true blood

Death Count: 223

Creators: Alan Ball

No. of seasons: 7

Original release: 2008 – 2014

Genre: Fantasy, Drama

IMDb:
7.9

Rotten Tomatoes:
73%

True Blood paints a picture of a world where vampires not only exist, but the entire world knows about them. Thanks to the creation of synthetic blood by Japanese scientists, vampires no longer need human blood to survive, allowing them to leave the shadows and reveal their existence to humanity

The series revolves around Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic barmaid living in Louisiana, whose life is changed forever when she meets Bill Compton, a 173-year-old vampire.

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spartacus

Death Count: 214

Creators: Steven. S. DeKnight

No. of seasons: 3

Original release: 2010 – 2013

Genre: Historical, Drama

IMDb:
8.5

Rotten Tomatoes:
46%

Inspired by the Thracian warrior of the same name, Spartacus follows our hero’s journey as he’s captured and enslaved by Romans, before being forced to fight for his life in the gladiator arena and eventually lead a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic.

With the plot of Spartacus revolving around the brutal gladiator arena and Roman Republic, it’s no surprise to find betrayal, violence and death hiding around every corner.

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The death counts for each of these TV shows has been sourced from Wikia, YouTube, Netflix and Wikipedia. Deaths were counted if they were either shown on-screen, directly referenced or heavily implied. Deaths which occurred prior to a show beginning (e.g. apocalyptic events) were not included.

Please note, this information is purely for entertainment purposes and may not be 100% accurate or definitive. If you think we’ve missed anything off, or think your favourite show should have been included, let us know!