Today Ad Age is pleased to launch an informal editorial partnership with TVGuide.com. We'll be working with the site's editors to present regular analysis of its Watchlist feature, a customizable entertainment guide that lets users make a list of their favorite shows, actors, etc. Watchlist then alerts these fans to upcoming broadcasts, streams, on-demand availability, DVD releases and so on.
We're interested in Watchlist, which has more than half a million registered users, because it functions as a sort of massive focus group. When new shows are announced by the broadcast and cable networks, TVGuide.com can gauge not only the buzz surrounding them, but the likelihood of tune-in. When shows just can't hack it on Watchlist, well, that may be a canary in the coalmine. Doing well on Watchlist isn't a total guarantee of success, of course, but last fall eight of Watchlist users' top 10 picks were also picked up for full seasons.
For the purposes of this chart, the data was locked in 24 hours ago. The right-hand column shows any change in their momentum since the Upfronts week back in May, when these shows were first announced -- along with many, many others.
Some additional context on a few of the more notable shows on our chart, courtesy of Mickey O'Connor, editor-in-chief at TVGuide.com:
- "Elementary" on CBS (No. 1). "Why is 'Elementary' the top-trending new fall show? It's a quick-paced, witty crime procedural with a secret weapon: British actor Jonny Lee Miller. His stealth popularity brought ABC's weird singing, dancing lawyer show 'Eli Stone' (that had so-so ratings ) a disproportionately devoted fan base. CBS likes Miller -- and 'Elementary' -- enough to pair it with 'Person of Interest,' last year's breakout drama. This one-two punch will attract major eyeballs on a very competitive Thursday night."
- "Arrow" on the CW (No. 3). "The crowd at Comic-Con loved this darker take on the Oliver Queen/Green Arrow character previously seen on the now-canceled 'Smallville,' another CW show that attracted young male viewers. Expect droves of fanboys (and -girls) to check this out."
- "Revolution" on NBC (No. 4). "Perhaps you've seen a promo or two (or 500) for 'Revolution' during NBC's Olympics coverage, which explains its recent rise in the rankings. It's going to need all the help it can get. It's not exactly a great time to launch a serialized mystery show (R.I.P., 'Alcatraz,' 'The Event' and 'FlashForward'), but this twisty supernatural drama has the nerdly pedigree of the triumvirate of J.J. Abrams, Eric Kripke and Jon Favreau, a compelling premise, and a solid cast, including Elizabeth Mitchell of 'Lost' and Giancarlo Esposito of 'Breaking Bad.'"
Watch for an update on this chart in early September. We'll also be back this fall to assess how well these predictions fared.
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Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.