Which TV Shows are the Most Social?

Josh WolfordSocial Media

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The relationship between social media and television has begun to intensify, and why not? The two seem like a match made in heaven. What could possibly provide a better outlet for discussing your favorite TV shows and connecting with not only other fans but people actually involved with the making of the shows?

Twitter has made it a point as of late to partner with certain television events to promote the use of their service as the main means of discussion. And in turn, networks get a chance to promote their content through one of the top social networks in the world.

So which TV shows do you buzz about most on Facebook and Twitter? Let us know in the comments.

Comedy Central has been an early adopter of the hashtag promotions, first partnering with Twitter for the roast of Donald Trump, and more recently using the promoted trend #comedyawards for its first ever show of the same name, honoring comedians across all media forms. That latter made perfect sense for Comedy Central and Twitter, as many of the early Twitter stars have been comedians, proving they are masters of the 140 character joke.

ABC News also partnered up with Twitter for the royal wedding, even providing a "total tweets" counter at the bottom of their television coverage of the event.

But what are the most social shows on TV? A study from TVGuide based on episode check-ins, Facebook likes and comments on the site, and Twitter chatter has provided us with a top ten list:

  1. NCIS
  2. American Idol
  3. Criminal Minds
  4. Glee
  5. House
  6. Fringe
  7. Bones
  8. Castle
  9. Smallville
  10. Law & Order: SVU

Note that these are all broadcast shows - that means network TV not cable.

It turns out that the "most social" TV shows aren't always the "most watched."  In fact, only the top three most social shows (NCIS, American Idol and Criminal Minds) rank in the top 10 of Nielsen's latest viewer ratings.

Take for instance the #9 ranked social show on the list, Smallville.  It has consistently boasted a fervent fan base during its 10 season run, but has famously underperformed in the ratings. Or how about Glee?  It ranks as the 4th most social show but it is nowhere near the top of the Nielsen ratings.

It would seem that TV shows that are more social tend to have strong internet presences that are bolstered by extremely enthusiastic fan bases.  I'm also less than shocked to see that Nielsen's #7 show 60 Minutes doesn't place in the top ten most social.  The last thing Andy Rooney ever tweeted was a link to his hard drive.  Just sayin'.

What else did the TVGuide study find out about TV and social media?

-Users said they are more likely to talk about their favorite shows on Twitter and Facebook before and after the show airs rather than during the show. Of users who talk on Twitter, 62 percent said they engage before the show airs, 69 percent after, and 47 percent during. Of users who talk on Facebook, 47 percent engage before the show airs, 68 percent after and 24 percent during.

-Of those who browse social networks while watching TV, 35 percent of Facebook users said they talk about the show they are watching, while 65 percent said they do something else. Among Twitter users who browse while watching TV, 50 percent said they talk about the show they are watching, while 50 percent said they do something else.

-Asked why they share what shows they are watching via social networks, users said the top three reasons are: 1) to tell friends what shows they like to watch (77 percent); 2) to help keep their shows on the air (66 percent); and 3) to telling their friends about new shows (57 percent).

How do people interact with the content creators?  Mostly by retweeting celebrities.

Lastly, one funny statistic - 20% of people said they were watching more live TV now simply to avoid spoilers from their friends on social media sites.  Seriously, these people need to get new friends.  Their friends how obviously never heard of [SPOILER] alert.

This whole study begs a bigger question.  Where are you, Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad fans?  Possibly too distracted by the pure awesomeness of the shows to bother Tweeting about them? My Twitter followers sure know my love for Breaking Bad.  Honestly.  If you don't watch Breaking Bad, you are doing yourself an enormous disservice.

Are you surprised that any of these shows made the most social list?  Do you think some of these shows were only bumped to the top ten because they are on network TV? Talk some smack and let us know in the comments.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf