Not-So-'Glee'-ful Trends In Social Media And TV Ratings

Look closer at social media numbers and TV ratings. Can you draw any conclusions? Exclusions?

Fox spent much on marketing and public relations efforts for such new shows as "The X Factor" and "New Girl." Returning shows typically don't need as much. But perhaps "Glee" should have had a bit more.

Looking at social media data from Trendrr.TV, a service that surveys shows' social media activity, "Glee" had more than 338,000 individual bits of social activity the day before its season premiere, the highest for any show -- and more than three times that of second-place "Dancing with the Stars." Trendrr.TV also said "Glee" had 72% "positive sentiment" in its social media results.

Seems "Glee" could have used a bit more -- at least according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. The show was down a whopping 30% from its season premiere a year ago --to a 4.0 rating/11 share among 18-49ers.

Programming and scheduling executives typically plan for viewership slips of some 8% to 10% year to year. But the "Glee" ratings seemed to open more than a few eyes, especially since it ended up not even being the most viewed show of the night! That honor went to the show following on Fox's schedule, "New Girl," with a stellar 4.8 rating/12 share.

Did viewers' fickleness cause "Glee's" ratings drop? Or was it the news of departing cast members and storyline changes? Stuff happens in television, most times out of the blue, that you can't explain. Last year around this time Fox took a big hit when its highly touted drama "Lone Star" just didn't "open" -- at all.

"Glee" isn't in this category, with a still very strong 4.0 rating among 18-49 viewers and better results among younger viewers. But its lower premiere ratings show that viewers' tastes can be slippery, even with the new-fangled barometer that everyone wants to ogle: social media.

"New Girl" grabbed a lot of social media interest -- in third place among all network shows, according to Trendrr.tv . But it had just 65,000 bits of activity, lower than "Glee"'s (although it had 89% positive sentiment). Another big Tuesday show, CBS' "NCIS," came in fourth place with 37,000 bits of interest, 81% positive. It received a more predictable 4.3 rating/12 share, up 5% from a year ago.

Still, not all social media data is the same. Banyan Branch, a social media agency, said shows such as "Glee," "The Playboy Club" and "Charlie's Angels" generated almost "no" recent online excitement.

Television shows aren't the only medium that can be fleeting. Social media about the shows might be, as well.

Tags: television, tv
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2 comments about "Not-So-'Glee'-ful Trends In Social Media And TV Ratings ".
  1. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing , September 22, 2011 at 10:21 a.m.

    This is VERY interesting stuff Wayne. Considering the Glee audience is millions and I doubt the 338K bits were all from unique individuals, I am shocked at the low volume for such a popular show. It is not out of the question to draw logically that only maybe 100k were chattering about it the day before. Using the same methodology what does it say about TV chatter in general? Maybe only 50K were chattering about the X Factor. Does this prove we are less active on Social Networks than the Networks want us to believe? Or is TV just not that important enough to talk about via social? Twitter has about 15 mil active users per day in the US. Facebook between 25mil and 30mil. Active is not logging in. Active is sharing/creating content. And based on the content volumes (Tweets, Status Updates, Likes, Comments) these numbers are very accurate.

  2. Thomas Siebert from WOLFGANG SOLO: Strategic Communications & Benevolent Propaganda , September 22, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.

    "Glee" may have peaked. The 3D summer movie bombed, and the off-season was full of cast gossip and back 'n' forth that did the series no favors. I didn't watch the second season every week, as I did the first year, but the episodes I saw were not as good as year one. Perhaps as guest stars pop up and the target demo gets back in the TV groove the show will regain its footing, but this significant dropoff is an unexpected development worth following -- maybe the cast will all just graduate and "Glee" will end next May.