'Idol' Reigns In TV, Social Media Ratings

American-Idol-2012For those who believe social media activity and traditional TV ratings can work hand in hand, it was a good week: "American Idol" scored well in both metrics for its 11th season debut.

According to Social Guide, Fox's big TV singing competition show, which aired two original episodes last week, pulled in 325,000 unique visitors on social media sites for the week ending Jan. 22 -- tops among all TV shows.

"Idol" accounted for 9% of all people who make social media comments for TV shows -- and 623,000 comments overall. "Idol" -- apart from big NFL games -- was the highest-rated TV show, according to traditional TV measures provided by Nielsen, for the first week of its new season.

MTV's "Jersey Shore" has been the virtual king of all cable TV shows in viewership for some time and -- before the "Idol" arrival for its 11th season -- the most consistent top performer among social media metrics. It came in at second place for the week ending January 22, with 215,000 social media unique visitors, a 6% share, and some 292,000 comments.

Still, many TV shows' social media activity have little comparison to their rank among traditional TV viewership.

VH1, a sister network to MTV, has seen good social media results for its "Love & Hip Hop" show. Still, it is not a traditional cable ratings juggernaut. This week, it landed in third place, according to Social Guide -- with 163,000 people, a 4.6% share, and 437,000 overall comments.

While "Idol," "Shore" and "Hip Hop" might be generally assumed to pull in young TV viewers -- big social media fans -- coming in at fourth place was a typically older-skewing TV event, the "South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate" special on CNN on Saturday. It took in 106,000 people, a 3% share, and 390,000 comments.

Fox News' "America's Election HQ" was next at 77,000, with a 2% share and 350,000 comments overall.

Other notables in the top 10, ranked fifth through 10th: Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants"; ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars"; Fox's "Glee"; Fox's "Family Guy" (including syndication and cable airings); and VH1 "Mob Wives."

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