Objective Evidence suggests that TV viewing is associated with body mass index (BMI) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in adolescents. However, it is unclear whether dietary intake mediates these relationships. Methods A cross-sectional analysis was conducted in adolescents (12–19 years) participating in the 2003–2006 United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. BMI z scores (zBMI) (n = 3,161) and MetS (n = 1,379) were calculated using age- and sex-specific criteria for adolescents. TV viewing (h/day) was measured via a self-reported questionnaire, and dietary intake was assessed using two 24-h recalls. Using the MacKinnon method, a series of mediation analyses were conducted examining five dietary mediators (total energy intake, fruit and vegetable intake, discretionary snacks, sugar-sweetened beverages and diet quality) of the relationships between TV viewing and zBMI and MetS. Results Small positive relationships were observed between TV viewing and zBMI (β = 0.99, p < 0.001) and TV viewing and MetS (OR = 1.18, p = 0.046). No dietary element appeared to mediate the relationship between TV viewing and zBMI. However, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and fruit and vegetable intake partially mediated the relationship between TV viewing and MetS, explaining 8.7% and 4.1% of the relationship, respectively. Conclusions These findings highlight the complexity of the relationships between TV viewing, dietary intake and cardiometabolic health outcomes, and that TV viewing should remain a target for interventions.