Heroes is a hit—as the most pirated TV show, that is

Feel like illegally downloading a Heroes episode? Apparently you (well, we're not accusing you personally, but that guy over there) and 6.58 million other people do on a regular basis, more than actually watch the series live. Yes, shockingly, in 2009 NBC's Heroes and Showtime's serial-killing Dexter actually suffered more pirated downloads than they had actual viewers, according to TorrentFreak.com.

While Heroes hovers on the edge of cancellation, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles actually did get canceled last spring. If you do the math, TSCC had 6,340,000 actual viewers + 1,960,000 illegal downloads, which probably would have equaled enough to give it another season. However, it's not that simple.

Most of the downloads come from countries other than the U.S., where they sometimes have to wait weeks or months before the new episodes are available, according to TorrentFreak. Their take ... it's all about availability. "The piracy figures simply show that TV viewing habits are changing."

Our take ... if NBC offered Heroes to everyone outside the U.S. for $1 the day after it aired, they have 6,580,000 extra dollars. Add in some advertising for good measure. We're just saying.

Here is TorrentFreak's list, with actual viewers and then the number of illegal downloads:

1. Heroes—5,900,000 actual viewers vs. 6,580,000 downloads
2. Lost—11,050,000 actual viewers vs. 6,310,000 downloads
3. Prison Break—5,300,00 actual viewers vs. 3,450,000 downloads
4. Dexter—2,300,000 actual viewers vs. 2,780,000 downloads
5. House—15,600,000 actual viewers vs. 2,590,000 downloads
6. 24—12,620,000 actual viewers vs. 2,440,000 downloads
7. Desperate Housewives—15,500,000 actual viewers vs. 2,180,000 downloads
8. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles—6,340,000 actual viewers vs. 1,960,000 downloads
9. Grey's Anatomy—15,640,000 actual viewers vs. 1,740,000 downloads
10. True Blood—12,400,000 actual viewers vs. 1,600,000 downloads

So have you ever pirated anything, matey?

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