Top 10 TV Shows for Online Fan Engagement

    June 22, 2009
    Chris Crum

Wetpaint has unveiled a new measurement tool for online engagement with TV shows, as opposed to simply monitoring viewership. It’s called the TV Fandex 100, and leverages data aggregated from multiple sources, which Wetpaint calls the most relevant, real-time, and reflective of fans’ passions. This includes a mixture of search, social media, and fansite activity supplementing Nielsen rankings.

Ben Elowitz "It’s clear there is a fundamental decentralization underway in how consumers experience TV programming, but the measurement tools have remained substantially the same," says Wetpaint CEO Ben Elowitz. "Fans now have the tools to connect and evangelize and they are using them with gusto. The TV Fandex provides networks and producers with the first gauge of the winners and losers in creating and retaining an online audience."

Some findings from the index that Wetpaint shares include:

– Programs with big reveals, surprise twists, or dramatic finales see enormous spikes in online fan activity, often with a prolonged echo effect.

– Sci-Fi and supernatural genre shows can quickly gain ground even before they premiere.  New sci-fi shows like Dollhouse and Fringe ramp up quickly to rival established hits like Lost and Supernatural in online momentum and, in many cases, before the program even premieres.

– Premium series can inspire year-round fan activity.  Fans of shows like True Blood and The Tudors remain engaged online long after the show’s season finale and throughout the course of the off-season.

– Reality shows are hot mid-season but then online engagement drops sharply after finales. American Idol and Dancing with the Stars see a slew of online fan activity during the show’s broadcast as the audience is highly engaged while watching.  Online buzz for these shows has a tendency to surge with the arc of the season and drop off abruptly after the finale.

As of this week, the top ten shows according to the index are:

   1. True Blood
   2. NCIS
   3. House
   4. Weeds
   5. Supernatural
   6. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
   7. Bones
   8. The Mentalist
   9. The Tudors
  10. Gossip Girl