Two weeks into the fall TV season, viewers are making up their minds about which new shows are resonating.
ABC’s The Good Doctor, fall’s most popular new drama, also generated the most talk among researcher Engagement Labs’ panel of 1,450 Americans ages 13 to 69, according to data exclusively provided to USA TODAY.
NBC’s Will & Grace and CBS comedy Young Sheldon — also the top-rated newcomers, according to Nielsen — were still generating talk, though Will’s was turning more mixed than positive.
And all three new Fox series, though far from the most popular, won buzz, led by Marvel series The Gifted, which jumped from the eighth most-talked about in premiere week to No. 5 last week, following its Oct. 2 premiere. Ghosted moved up from 13th to No. 10, and The Orville was steady in ninth place.
Viewers were asked which of 20 new network shows they had talked to friends or family about in the past 24 hours. The survey also asked whether those conversations were positive, negative or mixed. Doctor was tops in both overall talk and “net sentiment,” which weighs positive buzz against negative. (A separate Nielsen report reveals no new show appeared appeared among last week’s top 10 series ranked by social-media interactions).
In contrast, ABC’s Kevin (Probably) Saves the World scored lower in overall talk, and ranked last in “net sentiment,” meaning more of the discussion was negative or mixed than positive. (The show ranked eighth during the previous week). CW’s Dynasty, which hadn’t yet premiered, also scored low in sentiment, which may reflect viewers who “love to hate the characters,” says Engagement Labs’ Maggie Fosdick, who oversaw the survey.
Will dropped from fifth place to ninth in its second week on the air, as ratings cooled too.
The results can predict the ultimate success of new shows, as the survey reveals shows that viewers may have sampled but didn’t like. But Fosdick says that the increase in time-shifted viewing may delay viewers’ judgments: “Word of mouth is impacting time-shifted viewing just as much as live” airing.
During premiere week, ending Oct. 1 CBS comedy Me, Myself and I and ABC’s Inhumans had the smallest pool of boosters.
The next survey will be conducted in early November, after this week’s premieres of CW series and the Nov. 2 rollout of CBS series including SWAT and Sheldon, which returns in a new time slot.
Top 10 most talked-about new TV shows
- The Good Doctor (ABC)
- Will & Grace (NBC)
- Law & Order: True Crime: The Menendez Murders (NBC)
- Young Sheldon (CBS)
- The Gifted (Fox)
- Marvel’s Inhumans (ABC)
- SEAL Team (CBS)
- Star Trek: Discovery (CBS*)
- The Orville (Fox)
- Ghosted (Fox)
Based on a survey of 1,650 viewers ages 13 to 69, conducted Oct. 2-8, 2017. Source: Engagement Labs.
(*Star Trek: Discovery has moved to CBS All Access streaming service).
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