CBS has buzz, 'Chris' numbers are 'out of the ballpark'

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Stacey Lynn Koerner, exec VP-director of global research integration at Initiative, notes that CBS has three of the top 10 most discussed shows online, NBC has three while ABC and Fox have one each. Having a show that elicits a lot of comment might seem like a good thing, but Ms. Koerner says that often debate is generated by fans of shows that have been canceled to make way for newcomers. For instance, "Ghost Whisperer" (Fridays at 8 p.m.) replaces the much-loved "Joan of Arcadia." Jennifer Love Hewitt, the lead actress in "Ghost Whisperer," plays a psychic who talks with the dead. Channeling is supposedly another subject that creates a lot of discussion online.

"There's a very interesting discourse going on about 'Commander in Chief,' " says Ms. Koerner. Much of the talk about the show starring actress Geena Davis has centered on her role as a mother rather than real political issues. "People are discussing the issues that it's meant to be about. It's really more ideological. Then there are the debates about the idea of a woman president."

UPN's "Everybody Hates Chris," set around the life of comedian Chris Rock, has hit numbers "out of the ballpark," according to Ms. Koerner. "It has great crossover appeal and doesn't just appeal to black Americans, though they are very underserved in broadcast TV. This show has the least amount of negative comment."

The polarizing Martha Stewart also made the top 10 list. "She had a decent amount of negative buzz, but the positive outweighed that," she says. "What's going on is that people are interested to see how she translates in 'The Apprentice,' and about her generally. "

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