Cable Awards Shows Kick-Start Best Social Buzz

Count on reality, drama and sports TV shows to be the three biggest categories in generating social media buzz on all TV over the course of a season. But looking deeper, individual awards shows are easily the most talked about programming -- especially on cable.

Recent analysis from Rentrak’s Chief Research Officer Bruce Goerlich says awards shows on cable generated an astounding 2,180 index in 2013. This number is the average genre index of shows in that category, compared to the average of shows in their categories.

Goerlich reasons that awards shows skew to “basic human appeal of talking about winners (and losers). Also, cable awards shows, such as music awards, are geared to younger viewers, who are more likely to be chatting with each other.”

The next-highest number for a category on cable is drama TV series at a 98 index; sports, is at 89; comedy, 73; reality, 63; and documentary, 52.

Overall, reality TV shows were tops in cable when it came to most shows on Rentrak’s weekly list of most social media-buzzed show -- with just under 200 listing in 2013. Drama and sports were just under the reality tally -- around 190 and 180, respectively.

After this, social-media buzz falls off dramatically for other genres — with comedy TV having around 50 shows listed and documentaries about half of the comedy numbers.

Goerlich writes: “What generates conversation about TV shows? What has always generated conversation: Shows with glamorous stars, shows with an edge of competition with winners and losers, shows with dramatic plot twists, shows that really make you laugh, and shows that have a particular appeal to the young. This holds true across broadcast and cable.”

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