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.