The Ten New Fall TV Shows with the Most Word-of-Mouth Buzz Right Now

And We Don't Mean Twitter

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'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland'
'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' Credit: ABC

Given that we're in the thick of a fall TV premiere season, you might expect that we'd serve up some stats on how the new shows are doing in social media, as we've done in previous years. But a funny thing happened on the way to this moment in the so-called social-TV sector: consolidation, and lots of it, with Ad Age's former editorial partners, Bluefin Labs and Trendrr, both getting acquired by Twitter.

Both companies had contracts with brands, agencies and networks, and also generated data for Ad Age. Twitter bought them to build out its analytic technologies and to help it get some of that sweet, sweet Big TV advertising money. So Bluefin has been winding down its contracts to supply social-media data to clients, and now Trendrr is too (in fact, Trendrr just shut down its public charts yesterday).

SocialGuide, which was acquired by Nielsen last year, releases a weekly top 10 list of the most social TV programs, but a spokesperson declined Ad Age's request for social-buzz data on TV's new series. It's worth noting that all the shows in SocialGuide's most recent chart, which covers Sept. 23-29, are well-established shows, from "Breaking Bad" at No. 1 to "Once Upon a Time" (not to be confused with that show's upcoming spin-off, "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland") at No. 10.

So today we're trying something new by taking a broader view of "social buzz." Ad Age worked with the Keller Fay Group, a market-research firm that specializes in word-of-mouth, to generate the chart you see below. The data is based on interviews with a cross-section of 1,454 Americans ages 13 to 69 who were asked (between Sept. 23 and Sept. 29) about the real-world conversations they've had regarding 29 new high-profile TV shows that premiered in September or will be premiering shortly.

A few notes:

• Keller Fay's interviews show that more than half -- 53% -- of those surveyed have talked about one or more of the new fall TV shows during the past week.

• ABC and CBS each have three shows in our top 10, while Fox and NBC have two each.

• "When it comes to the shows people talk about," says Keller Fay Group CEO Ed Keller, "there are some interesting differences to note by gender and age. For example, 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' and 'Sleepy Hollow' are ranked in the top two for both men and women, but 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' is number one among men, while women talk most about 'Sleepy Hollow.' By age, we see that certain shows perform more strongly among the youngest age cohort, ages 13 to 29, with 'The Millers' on CBS at No. 5 among this group, and The CW's 'The Originals' at No. 8."

• Because the fall TV premiere schedule stretches on for weeks and weeks, from September into October, we'll be following up with additional updated charts in the coming weeks. Once everything of note has premiered, we'll then take a look at how word-of-mouth buzz and ratings correlate. Stay tuned!

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

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