×

‘Prison Break’ Social Buzz Zooms Above Rest of Broadcast TV Freshman Class

Is Fox’s revival of “Prison Break” poised to be a breakout hit?

The new iteration of the serial drama, which originally aired on Fox from 2005–09, has generated more than 10 times the user engagement on major social platforms since May than any other new broadcast show this TV season, according to a study by analytics firm ListenFirst Media. “Prison Break” also edged out every returning show on the fall broadcast schedule, with 19.5 million total engagements from May through the end of August.

That dwarfed the rest of the freshman class: NBC drama “This Is Us” took the No. 2 spot with 1.56 million engagements, followed by CBS’s reboot of “MacGyver” with 558,073, ABC’s family sitcom “Speechless” at 505,161, and Fox drama “Pitch” at 338,870.

Clearly, the built-in fanbase for “Prison Break” — even though it’s not set to premiere until the spring of 2017 — helped lift it above the rest of the pack. The event series, shot on location in Morocco, features original series stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell reuniting for what Fox promises will be the biggest escape ever. The original “Prison Break” centered on a man (Miller) determined to prove the innocence of his convicted brother (Purcell) and save him from death row with an elaborate scheme to bust him out of prison.

“The numbers show that ‘Prison Break’s’ return to air is met with fervor from fans who have been missing the show for years, while ‘This Is Us’ stands out as the original program that triples everyone else,” said Jason Klein, co-CEO and co-founder of ListenFirst Media.

There’s no guarantee that big social chatter will translate into big ratings. In fact, six of the top 10 most-buzzed-about shows heading into the fall 2015 season, as measured by ListenFirst, were ultimately canceled: NBC’s “Heroes Reborn,” ABC’s “The Muppets,” CBS’s “Limitless,” and Fox’s “Minority Report,” “Grandfathered,” and “The Grinder” each got the axe. The top two shows on social engagement were “Supergirl,” which is returning on CW, and Fox’s “Scream Queens.”

Meanwhile, the returning programs of ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and CW for 2016-17 far outpace the new entrants, with more than three times the social engagement across all networks on average per program. ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” entering its 27th season with host Alfonso Ribeiro, garnered nearly as many engagements (19.3 million) as “Prison Break.”

From a network perspective, Fox rules new programming, holding five spots in ListenFirst’s top 10 leader board. ABC leads on returning programs with more than 55 million social engagements from returning programs, and four spots on the top 10.

To rank the shows, ListenFirst analyzed fan growth, responses and conversation volume across Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Google+ from May 1 to Aug. 30. Notably, the data exclude Twitter data: That’s because Nielsen has an exclusive deal for publicly ranking TV programs based on Twitter data.

Top New Broadcast Programs for 2016-17

  1. Fox “Prison Break”: 19,495,934
  2. NBC “This Is Us”: 1,560,911
  3. CBS “MacGyver”: 558,073
  4. ABC “Speechless”: 505,161
  5. Fox “Pitch”: 338,870
  6. Fox “Son of Zorn”: 260,796
  7. Fox “Lethal Weapon”: 252,469
  8. ABC “Designated Survivor”: 240,726
  9. ABC “American Housewife”: 199,160
  10. Fox “24: Legacy”: 197,163

Top Returning Broadcast Programs for 2016-17

  1. ABC “America’s Funniest Home Videos”: 19,296,194
  2. NBC “America’s Got Talent”: 17,687,373
  3. Fox “Empire”: 10,441,249
  4. ABC: “Grey’s Anatomy”: 9,212,687
  5. ABC “Dancing With The Stars”: 8,845,100
  6. CW “The Flash”: 7,524,560
  7. NBC “The Voice”: 7,258,008
  8. ABC “Once Upon A Time”: 7,172,048
  9. Fox “Scream Queens”: 6,313,512
  10. CW “Supernatural”: 4,630,960

Source: ListenFirst Media

More Digital

  • Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 22/01/2020 -

    NATPE 2020: TV Biz Looks Back and Forward as Streaming Wars Ensue

    MIAMI — The atmosphere at the annual NATPE conference this year was a bit of old school and a lot of new school. In keeping with NATPE’s remit as a content market, hopeful stars of new fall talk show prospects pressed the flesh in a flurry of meetings and receptions with station buyers. MGM TV’s [...]

  • Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games -

    NBC to Produce Four Daily Tokyo 2020 Olympics Shows for Snapchat (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBC is again turning to Snapchat as part of monetizing its Olympics media rights — coveting the app’s millions of millennials and Gen Z users. NBC Olympics and Snap inked a renewed pact to present coverage of the XXXII Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, as well as the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, to Snapchat users [...]

  • Adobe Premiere Pro_Productions

    Adobe Premiere Pro to Add Project Management, Multi-User Collaboration Tools

    Adobe Premiere Pro is about to get better at working on big projects — and letting multiple users collaborate on the same video production. The vendor is adding a new set of tools called “Productions” to its Premiere Pro video editing software. Those will provide features for managing projects and sharing assets among them, along [...]

  • Amazon Italy

    Amazon Moving Into Italian Originals With Multigenre Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon is moving into Italian originals with a multigenre slate comprising “Bang Bang Baby,” a Milan-set mob drama with a young woman at its center, a comedy series centered around popular local star Carlo Verdone, and an unscripted food travelogue titled “Dinner Club.”  The streamer’s first forays into Italian scripted content were announced Thursday at [...]

  • 100 Thieves

    Esports Organization 100 Thieves Unveils New Facility in Los Angeles

    As of Wednesday, popular esports organization 100 Thieves has an official home in Los Angeles. The group unveiled its new 15,000 square-foot facility, officially named the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound, in a media preview with some of its biggest personalities and investor Scooter Braun on hand. Also in attendance was Jack Dorsey, the CEO [...]

  • Amazon Music

    Amazon Music Tops 55 Million Users, Still Playing Catch-Up to Spotify and Apple

    Amazon is famously reluctant to release specific numbers about its users, so it’s notable that the e-retailing giant announced that it has surpassed 55 million customers worldwide for Amazon Music. The company didn’t reveal how many of those users are on its various pricing tiers, but said subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited grew by more [...]

  • The Crown Season 3 Oliva Colman

    Record Intl. Growth Sees Netflix Beat Q4 Earnings Forecast

    Fast growth in international markets, contrasting with only sluggish subscriber gains in North America, was a major factor behind streaming giant Netflix’s better than forecast growth in the last quarter of 2019. The company is set on keeping up that international momentum. Globally Netflix added 8.76 million new customers in the three months to December [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content