TV Upfront

Forget Network Promises: Social Media Has Already Made Its Upfront Verdicts

'Cult' Looms Large in Social Media, 'Family Tools' Does Not

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The broadcast TV networks spent upfront week telling ad buyers just how social their shows will be. Now viewers have used social media to render their own early verdicts.

"Cult," a creepy-looking drama on The CW, ranked first on a Social Index from Networked Insights, a social-media analytics company that advises brands and agencies on media planning. The index considers post volume and sentiment as well as other factors in chatter across Facebook, Twitter, forums and blogs.

"Cult" follows an investigative journalist trying to find his paranoid brother, who went missing after becoming afraid that a hit TV show was out to get him.

However much social traction it gets, "Cult" may have a tough time achieving big traditional TV ratings because it appears on one of the smaller networks and will arrive in mid-season instead of the fall, when attention is higher.

"The Mindy Project" on Fox, "The Carrie Diaries" on The CW, "The Following" on Fox and "Revolution" on NBC round out the top five new series on Networked Insights' Social Index.

On a network-by -network basis, buyers interested in shows' social potential should consider "666 Park Avenue" on ABC, "Vegas" on CBS, "Cult" on CW, "The Mindy Project" on Fox and "Revolution" on NBC, Networked Insights said.

Each network also has an early social underperformer to avoid, however, according to Networked Insights. It's "Ben & Kate" for Fox, "The Family Tools" for ABC, "Infamous" for NBC, "Emily Owens, M.D." for The CW, and even the very social-sounding "Friend Me" for CBS.

Sentiment in social media was worst for "The Family Tools," which centers on an underachieving son who takes over his father's handyman business. (We panned it too.)

ABC is the top broadcast network for new dramas, according to Networked Insights' social index, partly because its lineup ranges from "666 Park Avenue" to "Nashville," presenting a variety that should appeal to different kinds of viewers.

NBC is tops for new comedies, although most of broadcast networks' new comedies aren't resonating very strongly, Networked Insights said.

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