The great springtime massacre of new shows is over, and fans are celebrating the ones who made it past the corporate axe, meat cleaver, hedge-trimmer, or whatever severing implement you favor as a metaphor. No surprise, a lot of this celebrating is going on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, and social media intelligence outfit ListenFirst has compiled and ranked the top ten freshmen shows from last season in terms of their fan-bases, combining Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
The clear winner, by a landslide and an accompanying tidal wave, is “The Originals,” the “Vampire Diaries” spinoff on The CW that as of May 5th had a fan-base totaling 4,976,634 Facebook fans and Twitter followers. That’s probably not much of a surprise, considering the target audience (hot vampire dudes = teenage girl audience) and the huge following of the original show, similarly endowed with brooding male beauty.
Second place, with 1,482,517 Facebook fans and Twitter followers according to ListenFirst’s tally, goes to “Sleepy Hollow,” Fox’s supernatural-police drama set in modern day Sleep Hollow, NY, where the resurrected Ichabod Crane pursues the Headless Horseman who turns out to be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Washington Irving’s original story is clearly in the rearview mirror here but hey, it’s always possible some colonial and revolutionary history will seep up through the ghoulish action. But probably not.
A close third with 1,114,715 fans and followers is “The Blacklist,” NBC’s crime drama starring James Spader as Raymond Reddington, a former government agent turned fugitive, who agrees to work with the FBI on condition he can be partners with Elizabeth Keen, an FBI profiler, for reasons that are only gradually revealed as they track down a bunch of bad guys on Reddington’s “Black List.” The series employs the same mix of random missions and episodic narrative, reminiscent of “The Mentalist” and the “X-Files” (remember that show?) among others, making it a perfect candidate for social media obsessing.
The rest of ListenFirst’s top ten list lack behind with less than a million Facebook fans and followers each as of May 5th, including NBC’s “Chicago PD” at 714,988; The CW’s “Reign,” about the young life of Mary Queen of Scots, at 668,519; ABC’s “Resurrection,” a supernatural fantasy based on the novel The Returned by Jason Mott, at 474,213; Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” starring the non-vampire, non-brooding Andy Samberg at 298,125; ABC’s “The Goldbergs” at 230,656; The CW’s “The 100” at 222,786; and NBC’s “About a Boy” at 126,530.
ListenFirst excluded two shows, ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “24: Live Another Day,” because they had pre-existing fan-bases.