In last week's chart tallying the top TV shows on entertainment check-in service GetGlue, "The Walking Dead" enjoyed yet another week at the top. This week? It wins again, and with almost the same number of check-ins. In fact, there are many similarities between this week's chart and the charts we've seen in recent weeks -- and that shows us a few things. Scroll down below the graphic for more notes and context.
- "The Walking Dead" is murdering all competition. This is maybe the most consistent trend on the chart this fall. Drawing an outsize audience for the otherwise-niche network and winning the night in cable each Sunday, the AMC gore-fest, like its sibling series "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men," has enough intrigue and surprises to keep audiences coming back. But it also clearly enjoys favor with the kind of audience that champions shows in social media. That's a quality often ascribed to struggling shows with cult followings, but even some of the most geek-friendly shows can't make the kind of social dent this zombie drama has made. ("Fringe," anyone?) We'd guess this series lives in the sweet spot between "Big Bang Theory" and "Nikita" -- it's a genre show, but it has a large and socially engaged audience, and it doesn't need orchestrated fan campaigns to propel it to the top each week. It's a genuine social earner.
- "Genre" shows perform well socially, but there's more than one kind of "genre." The CW's "Supernatural" has a tiny audience and a much darker tone compared with that of ABC's fantasy spectacle "Once Upon a Time ," but both are sci-fi shows on big networks that spark eager conversations between fans each week. Setting big ratings records for the FX network, the truly creepy "American Horror Story" has become event TV in its second season, while CBS's "Big Bang Theory" still draws huge swaths of viewers with its nerd-centric but broad-humored premise. All are arguably "genre" and have audiences differing wildly in size and demographics, but they all find common ground on GetGlue, even at the exclusion of similar shows (like NBC's "Revolution") which, on paper, should be right up there with them.
- "The Voice" is the only reality competition that has managed to chart with any consistency. We saw "The X-Factor" appear on the chart when it aired the first episode of its second season in September, but it promptly fell off (along with the hopes its new pop-star judges would grow its audience). "The Voice" doesn't command the healthiest number of check-ins week to week -- this week it popped up at the bottom, as it does every other week or so -- but there is no question that in addition to its ratings success, "The Voice" was the hit NBC needed to make itself socially relevant. And considering its competition in the much flashier "X-Factor," whose roster of judges and hosts was designed for the broadest appeal possible, that is no small victory.
- There is always a wildcard. Each week, a special event or two sneaks in to displace a few regulars and break a few otherwise dependable rules. This week, SyFy's special-effects competition show "Face Off" managed to generate more check-ins with its live season finale than "The Voice," despite the latter's millions more viewers.
Now that the fall 2012 TV season is a solid six weeks old, our check-ins chart has settled down, perhaps revealing which shows are igniting the most activity on GetGlue on a consistent basis -- as opposed to the occasional weekly scene-stealer. But this week's chart illustrates the season's social trends well. Here are a few key takeaways: