Diminutive, Dissembling Girls Give ABC Family a Big Boost in Social TV (Real Ratings, Too)

The Top 10 Checked-in TV Shows of the Week, Oct. 17-23

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'Pretty Little Liars'
'Pretty Little Liars' Credit: ABC Family

In the sixth edition of our new weekly chart tallying the top 10 TV shows on entertainment check-in service GetGlue, "Pretty Little Liars" gives ABC Family a big boost. (Background on GetGlue here: "7 Things You Need to Know About 'Social TV' Right Now"; last week's chart here.) Some context:

  • When "Pretty Little Liars" debuted on June 8, 2010, it was pretty clear to the social-media monitoring team here at Ad Age that it was going to be a hit for ABC Family. The show -- which critics were calling "Desperate Housewives" for teens -- almost instantly became a persistent and recurring trending topic on Twitter, while the ratings were strong enough that ABC Family quickly ordered additional episodes to round out a full first season. (The network ordered up a second season this past January.) The Alloy Entertainment young-adult "Pretty Little Liars" novels that the TV series is based on got a boost as well: Alloy ordered an extension of the print franchise; a ninth "Liars" novel will be out just in time for Christmas.
  • On the evening of Oct. 19, the team at GetGlue could tell that a Halloween-special episode of "Pretty Little Liars" was going to post very strong numbers for ABC Family given a strong surge of check-ins. By the end of our reporting period for the week (though 6 a.m. Eastern yesterday), "PLL" managed to ride into second place on our chart with 67,985 check-ins. So with the exception of a couple sitcoms -- CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" (No. 1) and ABC's "Modern Family" (No. 9) -- the chart is dominated almost entirely by dark dramas with pronounced fantasy and/or horror undertones.
  • TV by the Numbers has the scoop on "Pretty Little Liars" ratings via press release from ABC Family. A highlight: "Dominating its cable time period across all target demographics, 'Pretty Little Liars' stood as Wednesday's No. 1 cable telecast in Women 18-34, Women 18-49 and Females 12-34."

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

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