Sue Sylvester vs. Don Draper: A Twitter Beatdown

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Yesterday I called the Fox hit "Glee" "The Most Twitter-Worthy Sitcom of the Year" as part of Day 5 of my "12 Days of Holiday Giveaways," a round-up of my favorite media of the year. Today I thought I'd quantify the rather impressive impact of Gleeks (as fans of "Glee" call themselves) in the Twittersphere -- and, to put things in context, I decided to compare the "Glee" Twitter trendline with that of another media-world (and personal) TV favorite, "Mad Men," which of course gained its share of Twitter buzz awhile back thanks to its tweeting characters. A few notes and observations:

Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) from Fox's 'Glee' and Don Draper (Jon Hamm) from AMC's 'Mad Men.'
Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) from Fox's 'Glee' and Don Draper (Jon Hamm) from AMC's 'Mad Men.' Credit: Fox/AMC

  • The "Glee" mid-season finale aired on Wednesday. (The series is now on hiatus and will return with nine more episodes beginning in April.) On Thursday, the show set a new record for itself, with 78,380 tweets name-checking "Glee." There is no other show on TV right now that gets as much free, voluntary social-media marketing courtesy of fans.
  • "Mad Men" wrapped up its third season on Nov. 8. (It's coming back for a fourth in 2010.) It failed to set a new record in tweets in the aftermath; it peaked with a mere 4,046 tweets two days later, on Nov. 10. (Its all-time one-day Twitter-buzz peak came much earlier in the season, on Monday, Sept. 21: 13,447 tweets.)
  • At its peak moments on Twitter, "Mad Men," in the immediate wake of the airing of new episodes, often couldn't even beat "Glee" at its low points between fresh episodes.
  • Out of curiosity, I Twitter-searched "sue sylvester don draper" to see if anybody on Twitter was thinking about these two awesome characters from, respectively, "Glee" and "Mad Men" in tandem. As of this morning, I found exactly one tweet, posted by a British technologist, Dafyd Jones (@dafyd), just yesterday. Jones name-checked not only Don and Sue, but Malcolm Tucker of the British comedy, "The Thick of It" (which begat my favorite movie of the year, "In the Loop") and Barney Stinson of "How I Met Your Mother." Jones's tweet: "Don Draper. Barney Stinson. Malcolm Tucker. Sue Sylvester. We are spoilt for great TV characters at the moment. Just saying." Amen to that.

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Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr, a social- and digital-media tracking service. More background here. A basic Trendrr account is free; Trendrr Pro, which offers more robust tracking and reporting tools, comes in various paid flavors (get the details here).

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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