News Column

Social Media Collects Buzz Around New TV Shows

October 25, 2012

By Gary Levin

Jobs and Social Media

Vegas and Elementary are the top new shows of the fall TV season. But what's hot on social media? ABC's critical favorite, Nashville, along with NBC's Revolution, also the most popular new series among young-adult viewers.

New data from Trendrr, a research firm that tracks social-media engagement, says the country-flavored soap scored about 112,000 mentions, including Twitter, Facebook, GetGlue and Viggle, on the day of its premiere Oct. 10, and Revolution was close behind with 109,000 for its opener Sept. 17. Other top scorers among new network series were ABC's 666 Park Avenue and CW's Arrow.

But while Revolution's social-media buzz climbed with its second episode, to 131,000 mentions, online chatter for almost every other show dropped; Nashville's fell by half, to about 56,000 for its next episode.

Activity replaces an old measure of audience interest. "It's sort of the new water cooler, in the respect that people say, 'Did you see that?'" says Brian Hughes, senior VP at ad firm Magna Global Intelligence.

The data don't sync with Nielsen ratings, still the currency for Madison Avenue ad buyers. And online noise won't point to success if viewers don't like what they see. But activity demonstrates involvement. "If you're actively engaged in a show, you're less likely to change the channel and more likely to tune into the next episode," says Trendrr's Mark Ghuneim.

Sports, awards shows and other live events generate much more activity, and serialized dramas with cliffhanger endings score more highly than sitcoms or stand-alone dramas.

The buzz around new network series was dwarfed by the returns of two cable fright-fests: AMC's The Walking Dead returned Oct. 14 and sparked 1.5 million social-media mentions, and FX's American Horror Story last week scared up nearly half a million.

Among network newcomers, NBC's Chicago Fire had the biggest percentage of positive chatter; Animal Practice had the highest negative.


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Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2012


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