Fall is an important season for U.S. advertisers: Advertising Week unveils key trends that will affect media over the next year, ad dollar behemoth American football kicks off, and TV returns along with a bounty of new programming.

During Television Upfronts, major advertisers previewed each new series to guess which networks and series had the most promise for the 2015-2016 season. But, now is the first chance to see how consumers respond to the new lineup and for advertisers to start gauging if they placed the right bets.

64 percent of U.S. Internet users visit a social media platform while watching live primetime TV, making social data a powerful tool for understanding consumers even at an early stage. To determine which shows have the most social currency and what to make of the refreshed TV landscape for advertisers, we leveraged the 4C platform.

Fall TV Social Engagement

The number of Facebook and Twitter engagers a program has during the summer months has a correlation with the number of engagers within three days of the premiere. However returning series dwarf new shows for number of engagers, which emphasizes the challenge networks face when launching new series.

Not surprising due to its excellent freshman season and anticipated return, Empire was the strongest show achieving 677,209 premiere engagers on Facebook and Twitter. Grey’s Anatomy continues to be a heavy hitter with 409,698 premiere engagers.

Modern Family, The Simpsons, and Family Guy underperformed when it came to premiere engagement indicating syndicated shows aren’t able to draw as much buzz for a new season compared to their counterparts.

The Muppets took the top spot for engagers with a new network series, slightly edging out Scream Queens’ 273,905 engagers. Quantico also had strong premiere drawing 222,485 engagers.


Although Scream Queens came in second for engagers, it won in terms of total engagements achieving an average of 1.3 engagements per person and taking 22% of the premiere engagement share.

The Muppets gained a lot of social ground during its premiere. Receiving just 8.4% of new series engagements during the summer, The Muppets more than doubled its share up to 20% following its premiere. Rosewood and Blindspot were two other shows that surged during their premieres. However, notably slipping in engagement share during the premiere was Heroes: Reborn.


During the 2015 Upfronts, FOX announced it would be producing 11 new scripted series, the second most among the major broadcast networks. Nearly half of those have premiered to date making FOX the network with the most active new shows and most social media engagement from new shows.


One challenge for networks is finding a courageous sponsor willing to support a new show while it’s attempting to build an audience. Using our Teletrax technology, we’re able to track ad occurrences in all 210 U.S. DMAs. Airing 11 spots totaling 6 minutes of ad time, Microsoft was the boldest brand investing most in the uncharted shows. Microsoft’s top pick: Heroes: Reborn.

Automotive, Technology and Telco were the categories buying the most ads on these new series.

In addition to gauging show performance, social data can reveal which brands are well suited for a particular show. 4C Affinities measure the strength of connection between TV programs and brands through social media engagement data to reveal what shows a brands audience will be watching. The metric we use is Penetration Per Thousand (PPM) by calculating the number of unique engagers, divided by the total number of unique engagers in the targets, multiplied by 1,000. In other words, we answer the question: For every 1,000 people who engage with Brand X, how many also engage with TV Show Y?


Through 4C Affinities we identified Disney and Google as brands that would connect with The Muppets audience. Brands that would do well advertising on the surging shows Rosewood and Blindspot are Chili’s and Chobani. With a PPM of 19.0, social data suggests Limitless would be a good fit for Microsoft to expand its sponsorship of new programs.

Social media combined with TV data provides a powerful tool for understanding the TV landscape. The 2015-2016 season will continue to evolve with many anticipated shows yet to air, which makes it imperative that advertisers leverage the most powerful tools to understand consumers and stay ahead of the curve.