Buy It or Avoid It? Using Social Media to Gauge New Shows
Analytics company Networked Insights bases picks on Facebook, Twitter and more
By John Consoli -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/22/2012 2:23:45 PM
NI -- which is funded by Goldman Sachs -- delivers recommendations on specific TV shows by analyzing conversations in social media across the Internet. The social data they analyze comes in every six seconds from a variety of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and thousands of blogs and forums.
And given that information, the NI recommended series for next season include CBS drama Vegas and sitcom Partners; Fox's midseason drama The Following and sitcoms The Mindy Project and The Goodwin Games; ABC dramas Nashville, 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort; NBC drama Revolution and sitcoms The New Normal and 1600 Penn; and CW dramas Cult, The Carrie Diaries and Arrow.
Among the new fall series NI is recommending media buyers pass on are CBS dramas Made in Jersey and Golden Boy and sitcom Friend Me; Fox drama The Mob Doctor and comedy Ben and Kate; ABC sitcoms Malibu Country and The Family Tools and drama Zero Hour; NBC drama Infamous and sitcoms Next Caller and Go On; and CW drama Emily Owens, M.D.
The NI research cites specific reasons for the judgments, from Mindy Project star Mindy Kaling's huge Twitter presence, to Malibu Country star Reba McEntire's lackluster social networking resonance, despite her previous success on a WB sitcom.
The company, which has done work with both TV networks and advertisers, recently formed a partnership with MagnaGlobal, the strategy, intelligence and media investment arm of Mediabrands, which oversees media agencies such as Initiative and Universal McCann, among others.
MagnaGlobal is planning to integrate Networked Insights' social data into its own proprietary media metrics to help build investment strategy for its clients during the upfronts and throughout the year.
"Because we buy precisely what our clients need, partnering with Networked Insights ensures that every project we do is grounded in the brand's audience profile and leverages the best programming recommendations to connect with them," says Brian Hughes, senior VP, audience analysis at MagnaGlobal.
"We have been working with MagnaGlobal for a while delivering insights and results to their clients, but this a formalization of the relationship so we can deliver on our approach globally," said Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights.
Networked Insights has also done work with Group M, MTV and marketers such as Samsung, Kraft and MillerCoors.
Here is what the NI research says about the shows it recommends:
Vegas, CBS: The cast is well-liked, but the largest driving interest to check out this show is because it's a period piece and sounds interesting.
Partners, CBS: Viewers, particularly old Will and Grace fans, are excited to see Sophia Bush in this new project, and similar ensemble comedies like Rules of Engagement resonate well with viewers online.
The Following, Fox: Kevin Bacon may have been cast as this show's lead, but it's really the show's creator, Kevin Williamson (most recently creator of The Vampire Diaries), that's interesting the viewers.
The Mindy Project, Fox: While Kaling plays one of the minor characters in The Office, she has a significant Twitter presence and is considered very humorous.
The Goodwin Games, Fox: The co-creators of How I Met Your Mother are going to find it difficult to recreate the same magic with viewers, but according to social data, HIMYM viewers are ready for new content.
Nashville, ABC: This year, ABC is going big with the country music theme, and unlike Malibu Country, Nashville is offering viewers a bit more content, with Connie Britton fresh from fan favorite show Friday Night Lights.
666 Park Avenue, ABC: This show is successfully appealing to viewers of American Horror Story, and Terry O'Quinn from Lost is just sweetening the deal.
Last Resort, ABC: It's been a long time since SeaQuest was on the air and viewers seem ready for new submarine adventures, particularly Glee fans who are excited to see Max Adler in a new role.
Revolution, NBC: While the fanfare over J.J. Abrams is not what it used to be, this show is piquing a lot of viewer interest because of Eric Kripke, the creator of Supernatural, who's helped create a generation of super-fans for The CW.
The New Normal, NBC: Although Ryan Murphy's writing style does not appeal to everyone, being the co-creator of Glee will certainly, and already has, attracted the interest of many viewers to this show.
1600 Penn, NBC: Viewers of Modern Family love to share content with each other, and can't get enough of the show; more of the same from Modern Family's creator looks like a win for media buyers.
Cult, The CW: This series takes the creative team from Gossip Girl (one of the most discussed shows online) and picks a cast primarily out of minor actors from its other shows. As a result, this show is one of the most anticipated new CW entries.
The Carrie Diaries, The CW: This appeals more to viewers of Gossip Girl that are tired of all the Chuck and Blair drama than to the longtime Sex and the City viewers. This show's conversation is trending positive online.
Arrow, The CW: Going into the upfronts, this show already had comic fans discussing their thoughts in a positive way about the Green Arrow's supposed costume.
And here is what the NI research says about the shows buyers should pass on:
Made in Jersey, CBS: The current cast associated with this project doesn't have a strong social presence and the Harry's Law narrative style does not resonate strongly with viewers.
Golden Boy, CBS: Viewers are becoming fatigued with cop dramas (CBS' newest one, NYC 22, struggled to inspire online discussion), and the lack of a strong cast is not helping this show.
Friend Me, CBS: The title of this series does not resonate with viewers and there was a bit of negative confusion early on when people were wondering why the show's title was making a Facebook reference, when the series is taking place at Groupon.
The Mob Doctor, Fox: Being positioned through PR as Fox's medical drama to replace House is not resonating strong with viewers, nor is Jordana Spiro creating a lot of interest.
Ben and Kate, Fox: While this show has been receiving considerable PR attention, viewers appear to be more apprehensive about it, and its "stupid funny" style of comedy. This show is likely to go the route of NBC's Best Friends Forever.
Malibu Country, ABC: Reba McEntire may be an award-winning country music artist and a onetime WB sitcom star, but currently she has a rather lackluster resonance on social media and the show's content is hit-and-miss with viewers.
The Family Tools, ABC: A remake of a British modernization of Sanford and Son, featuring the wife from The King of Queens, the show's premise and casting do not catch the attention of viewers.
Zero Hour, ABC: Anthony Edwards may well be remembered by older TV fans for his role on ER, but today he doesn't have much of a social presence; the thriller-style narrative also struggles on ABC as was evident in their recently cancelled series Missing.
Next Caller, NBC: The humor of Dane Cook has always been hit-or-miss, but having him play a chauvinistic talk radio host did not resonate well with viewers. One commenter's response was, "Why do you hate us, NBC?"
Go On, NBC: In a post-Friends world, Matthew Perry and the rest of his old costars have struggled to find success in new shows. That, mixed with viewer disinterest in the proposed sports-themed narrative, makes this show a possible "social turkey."
Infamous, NBC: This drama may seem geared toward viewers of Revenge and The Ghost Whisperer, but its proposed plot is not initially attracting viewers.
Emily Owens, M.D., The CW: Over the last year, the rookie medical dramas have generated some of the least social media buzz (A Gifted Man, Off the Map, Hart of Dixie) and this series is going to struggle even more.
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