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Week Three: Top 10 Fall TV Shows With the Most Word-of-Mouth Buzz

Plus: The One Fall TV Show with the Most Positive WOM

By Published on . 1

For the third week in a row, Ad Age is taking a broad view of the "social buzz" surrounding the fall TV season's new shows and listening in on "real world" conversations -- not just what you see on Twitter and Facebook.

We worked with the Keller Fay Group, a market-research firm that specializes in tracking word-of-mouth, to generate the chart you see here. (Last week's chart is right over here.) The data is based on interviews with a cross-section of 1,452 Americans ages 13 to 69 years old who were interviewed from Oct. 7 to Oct. 13 regarding 29 new, high-profile TV shows that have premiered already or will premiere shortly.

Because the the fall TV premiere schedule stretches on for weeks and weeks through September and October, Keller Fay is conducting multiple surveys over a series of consecutive weeks. Once all of the the most-buzzed-about shows each get at least a couple episodes on air, we'll examine how all this talk correlated with ratings.

But scroll down below the chart for some context right away.

A few notes:

• The top five shows have each held steady in their rankings for three weeks running.

* Last week we noted that the one show conspicuously missing from our first two charts was unlucky "Lucky 7," which was bumped from ABC's schedule after only two airings. Since then, another show with insufficient word-of-mouth buzz to make our chart, CBS's "We Are Men," has been pulled from the air, also after just two airings.

• ABCs "Upon Upon a Time" spin-off, "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," moved up one spot this week following its premiere, switching places with "Hostages." And Fox's "Dads" moved back into the top 10, bumping "MasterChef Junior," another Fox show, off of the chart. CBS's "The Millers," says Keller Fay Group CEO Ed Keller, "is the only show that has seen a statistically significant increase in the percentage of people talking about it" -- though the show's ranking remains unchanged this week.

• All buzz is not, of course, created equal. "Among the top 10," says Keller in a research summary he provided to Ad Age, "63% of people's conversations are positive, and only 26% are negative or mixed. NBC's 'The Blacklist' enjoys 80% positive conversations, the highest level of positive WOM among any new show Keller Fay measures. Word-of-mouth for 'The Michael J Fox Show,' also on NBC, is somewhat more muted, with 49% of the conversations positive, while over one third are mixed or negative. Experience suggests that shows with very positive word of mouth will likely continue to enjoy ratings success as more and more people are drawn to watch based on what they hear. Shows with mixed word of mouth can continue to do well, if the positive buzz comes from passionate fans, or it can be a signal that the negative or mixed conversations will eventually begin to erode the ratings. So measures of sentiment are an indicator worth watching."

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

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