The fate of the fall lineup

When the new fall network television lineup was announced, bloggers had a lot to say about this year's new crop of shows.

Are bloggers any better at predicting which shows will succeed, and which will fail? Does the influence of the blogosphere have any real impact on a show's fate? Read on for details...

  • Did the most initial buzz mean the highest ratings? The week of September 17, Kid Nation had the most people talking about it, by far, with more than 7,200 unique posts. After October 17, bloggers have dropped the program out of the top three most discussed shows. Influential blog chatter translated to truth in this instance: Kid Nation averaged 9.4 million viewers in the first week, and has since started to attract fewer viewers.
  • In September, "the remake" was also a hot topic. Bionic Woman was the second most talked about new show online, with more than 6,100 posts from online opinion leaders. Discussions have also dropped off for Bionic Woman, as less than 1,000 new posts have been published as of October 19. However, the program has consistently been in the top 25 and the network has ordered new scripts.
  • During premiere week, Private Practice, Big Shots and Back to You were not generating much buzz from the top blogs. As of October 19, Back to You, Big Shots and Private Practice were still in the bottom three. In Private Practice's case, the lackluster amount of blog activity did not foreshadow the show's success, as the program has ranked the 12th highest-rated show this fall. In addition, Back to You also won its timeslot with 9.4 million viewers during premiere week, and has held steadily close to that number in subsequent weeks. Big Shots, however, is in big trouble - it is in 50th place, losing an average of 10 million viewers from its Grey's Anatomy lead in.
  • Three new network shows got online influencers talking throughout the month of October: Journeyman has seen almost 23,000 posts, most of which are positive. Cane comes in second with 18,094 posts, and Big Bang Theory comes in at third, with almost 14,000. The bloggers were right about the top three: Big Bang Theory has received a season-long commitment, and additional scripts have been ordered for Journeyman and Cane.

The bottom line? Depending on the subject matter, the topics the influencers chat about online sometimes catch fire - and sometimes they don't. Some shows can be popular and drive substantial viewership without blogger buzz, while blog buzz can serve as a tipping point for others. The power for marketers is in understanding where those differences lie, and how they can change over time.

Based on the analysis of 113,681 blog postings from September 17 to October 21, including the E! News blog for pointed statistics. Evaluation and analysis by BuzzLogic.

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