The biggest launches at each of the four broadcast networks comprise the top four series that generated the most chatter on Facebook, which measured the conversations through new tracking tools introduced last month.
ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” led the field among new fall TV series launched prior to October, generating 1.13 million “interactions,” defined as the total number of comments, posts and Facebook “likes” about a show, during a 48-hour period beginning with the series’ premiere date. There were 717,690 Facebook users talking about the premiere episode, which opened to an impressive 12.1 million viewers on Sept. 24.
Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” was a close second with over 932,000 interactions from over 582,000 users. The drama series has been the most successful new launch for Fox, which ordered a second season Thursday.
While CBS comedy “The Crazy Ones” (254,310/211,552) and NBC’s “The Blacklist” (216,678/168,940) finished third and fourth, respectively, there was a steep fall-off in social chatter after “Hollow,” which drew more than three times the interactions that “Crazy” did. “Crazy” and “Blacklist” have been the biggest series premieres this fall from CBS and NBC, respectively.
Conversely, the series that have fared the worst in the TV ratings among new launches saw the lack of impact play out in their social footprint as well. Sluggish performers including CBS’ “We Are Men,” ABC’s “Lucky 7” and Fox’s “Dads” saw the least activity on Facebook. Even a pair of new premium-cable series, HBO’s “Hello Ladies” and Showtime’s “Masters of Sex,” drew stronger social traction despite being available in far fewer U.S. homes. (A more complete list is provided below.)
While it might seem obvious that social-activity levels would correspond with TV ratings, programmers keen to spread the word about their new series haven’t always seen a 1:1 relationship between the two. Some popular series don’t necessarily attract big social followings, and some programs have social followings that are disproportionately larger than than their viewing audiences, which can be a matter of demographic skew or genre appeal.
Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter are getting more aggressive about tracking TV-related activity across their platforms in their bid to establish themselves for marketer dollars and partnerships to networks and studios such as a first-of-its-kind pact with ABC series “Dancing With the Stars.” Earlier this week, Facebook reportedly began sending data reports to the broadcast networks illustrating the kind of data shared with Variety.
Last month, Facebook issued new measurement tools: a public feed API that captures conversations happening on the Facebook feeds of celebrities, brands and users whose profiles are not private, and a keyword insights API that aggregates conversations happening across all Facebook profiles on a certain topic via status updates, comments and likes.
The data provided to Variety did not include series premieres in October, which to date have included NBC’s “Ironside” and ABC’s “Super Fun Night.”
1. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD 1.3 million / 717,690
2. Sleepy Hollow 932,000 / 582,000
3. The Crazy Ones 254,310 / 211,552
4. The Blacklist 216,678 / 168,940
5. Michael J. Fox Show 159,206 / 122,024
6. The Goldbergs 137,780 / 101,614
7. Brooklyn Nine-Nine 85,981 / 64,921
8. Hello Ladies 80,593 / 57,599
9. Masterchef Jr. 76,457 / 60,186
10. Back in the Game 57,201 / 45,535
11. Trophy Wife 52,254 / 39,539
12. Masters of Sex 44,057 / 32,066
13. Betrayal 42,499 / 31,747
14. Mom 39,906 / 30,772
15. Hostages 38,488 / 29,474
16. We Are Men 38,065 / 28,958
17. Lucky 7 35,656 / 26,909
18. Dads 35,378 / 27,286