There was a time when cartoons generally meant children’s TV (or impenetrable eastern European fare, shown late at night on Channel 4). But if proof was needed in this day and age that animation is a) hugely popular and b) no longer aimed largely at pre-schoolers, perhaps an analysis of Facebook will help...
As it turns out, the four most popular TV-related groups on the social networking site are run for fans of animated shows, and only one of them - SpongeBob SquarePants - is aimed at children.
Based on the worldwide popularity of single Facebook groups, Seth MacFarlane’s animated US series, Family Guy, comes top, with over 41 million fans.
The Simpsons is in second place, boasting a group with nearly 39 million fans (although it also has a second page followed by 8.5 million). South Park is next, liked by over 36 million, while SpongeBob has close to 31 million followers.
Simpsons creator Matt Groening’s animated sci-fi series, Futurama, features at number ten in the list of the most popular TV-related Facebook pages, meaning half of the top ten consists of animated shows, according to figures provided by social media analysis website Famecount.
The first live-action series to get a look-in is House, starring Hugh Laurie as the eponymous MD, ranked sixth with 26 million Facebook fans. That’s followed by US sitcoms Two and Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.
At number five, MTV is the only channel to feature in the top 40 TV-related pages, with almost 31 million likes, while Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean is the first UK property to appear in the list, at number 12 with 18 million Facebook fans.