The Charts: General Sentiment Offers a New Chart Tracking Social Activity and Sci Fi / Fantasy Shows Figure Prominently in its Rankings

By | July 31, 2014

Teen-Wolf-CancelledI stumbled across a new set of charts over at TV by the Numbers that tracks social activity relating to TV shows and it has some interesting rankings concerning genre shows.  These are put out by a company called General Sentiment and it ranks “new primetime shows by chatter each episode received from the day before a new episode to two days after it aired”.  And this “chatter” is tracked “in the form of show names, Twitter handles, hashtags, and major characters”.  So this chart is more extensive than the Neilsen Twitter Ratings which only track activity on the Twitter site.  Not certain how long General Sentiment has been tracking TV shows, but I found that TV by the Numbers has there Top 25 charts going back to mid-June, so they cover most of the Summer season.  As expected, Teen Wolf has dominated among the cable shows, but it is interesting to note the others shows that have been in the charts as well.  True Blood has trended well on the GS charts, also not much of a surprise based on its ratings.  But Syfy’s new low-rated series Dominion has been a regular entry since June (it’s currently ranked 8th) as has HBO’s ratings slacker The Leftovers (it’s currently ranked 6th). Lifetime’s Witches of East End has also made several appearances as well as TNT’s Falling Skies which is currently experiencing a ratings slump.  But the one Summer cable genre show that has had almost no presence on the these charts is TNT’s The Last Ship, which is the highest rated non-broadcast net sci fi / fantasy show this Summer after True BloodThe Last Ship appeared the week it debuted, but dropped out of the Top 25 after that.  So what does this all mean?  Well it shows that those lower rated shows are generating plenty of social network activity, that’s for sure.  But then that does not translate into advertising revenue to support the production costs, so does it really help them?  I do know that there is a push for targeted campaigns that would deliver adds that this social network community would see, so this is not just lost data.  But currently, this is all just one more metric for tracking a show’s audience, like DVR and internet viewing.  And even though the overnight ratings continue to be the primary numbers that the networks look at, I believe this social network activity will become more and more important in the coming years, definitely more of a driving force than DVR viewing (I think internet viewing is going to start to become more important as well).  For now, I will factor the General Sentiment numbers into my Power Rankings and continue to keep a close eye on them.  But understand that for now the number the networks still watch the closest is those overnights.  We can make as many arguments as we want that those scores are unrepresentative and outdated, but then we can say the same thing about the network executives, couldn’t we?

Last week’s numbers from the General Sentiment charts are below as are the regular charts that I track.  Not much changed in those charts, though Under the Dome and Extent are slipping down as their ratings are sliding as well.  They have also experienced a similar drop on the General Sentiment charts for the broadcast nets.

Here is the full look at chart activity for genre shows for the week of July 21st thru 27th:

Nielsen Twitter Rankings
Series Network Rank Prior Week Move -ment
Teen Wolf MTV 6 7 Up
Cable Networks Top 25 – Total Viewers
Series Network Rank Prior Week Move -ment Viewers (MM) Prior Week
The Last Ship TNT 6 6 Same 4.4 4.1
True Blood HBO 11 13 Up 3.4 3.6
Broadcast Networks Top 25 – Total Viewers
Series Network Rank Prior Week Move -ment Viewers (MM) Prior Week
Under the Dome CBS 11 6 Down 1.5 1.9
Extant CBS 17 14 Down 1.1 1.5
Broadcast Networks Top 25 – Ratings 18-49
Series Network Rank Prior Week Move -ment Viewers (MM) Prior Week
Under the Dome CBS 7 6 Down 6.7 7.6
Extant CBS 10 3 Down 6.5 8.0
Person of Interest (R) CBS 24 n/a Up 4.9 n/a
General Sentiment – Cable Channels Top 25
Series Network Rank Prior Week Move -ment
Teen Wolf MTV 2 2 Same
True Blood HBO 3 5 Up
The Leftovers HBO 6 8 Up
Dominion Syfy 8 14 Up
The Strain FX 13 15 Up
Defiance Syfy 21 22 Up
General Sentiment – Broadcast Networks Top 25
Series Network Rank Prior Week Move -ment
Under the Dome CBS 10 8 Down
Extant CBS 12 11 Down

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