We Grade the TV Network’s Online Buzz Machine

With the new fall TV season creeping closer and closer [does anyone else think that ‘with the new fall TV season…’ should to be my de-facto opening sentence for every post from now until September?] this TV Addict thought he’d take the opportunity to talk about the level of online buzz surrounding each network’s new fall lineup.

Now I know what you’re thinking — why measure buzz? Well quite frankly, the better job networks do at generating buzz online with regards to their new slate of shows, the better chance they have of staying on the air. Remember last season’s short-lived Ray Liotta series SMITH? Didn’t think so.

This year, the networks seem to putting their online marketing muscle behind one or two shows, leaving the rest of their lineup to chance. NBC’s betting big on BIONIC, CBS is hoping KID NATION is the next SURVIVOR, ABC is all about DAISIES, the CW can only GOSSIP about one thing and FOX, well, outside of K-Ville, I think it’s safe to say that they’d like to fast forward to January and let IDOL speak for itself.

The Good: Let’s face it, to have not heard about NBC’s re-imagined take on THE BIONIC WOMAN, you’d pretty much have to have been in a coma. From their jam-packed panel at the recent San Diego Comic Con to the seemingly endless online ads and tie-ins (see bat-test.com) — THE BIONIC WOMAN is going to really have to stink to fail.
The Bad: HEROES. Memo to NBC — we get it, HEROES is your pride and joy, the saviour of the Peacock network, your beloved first born. One problem — the rest of your fall line-up is starting to develop middle child syndrome. When are you going to start promoting CHUCK (a hilarious new action/comedy hyrbrid from Josh Schwartz), JOURNEYMAN and LIFE? Do you not realize the new fall TV season is creeping closer and closer (okay, I’ll stop!)

The Good: If you subscribe to the theory that there’s no such thing as bad buzz, then CBS has had a remarkable summer. From abuse claims surrounding the new reality show KID NATION, to the whole CRIMINAL MINDS/Mandy Patinkin fiasco, CBS hasn’t had to work too hard to generate headlines.
The Bad: None of these headlines have anything to do with CBS’ new fall lineup. Is anyone talking about THE BIG BANG THEORY or VIVA LAUGHLIN? Sorry, let me rephrase — Is anyone saying anything positive about THE BIG BANG THEORY or VIVA LAUGHLIN?

The Good: While PUSHING DAISIES may have started off the summer as the little-show-that-could, it’s quickly evolved into the fall’s must see show. Thanks to tireless marketing and one timely internet leak, PUSHING DAISIES is officially the most buzzed about show of the summer. One that’s well positioned to — in this TV Addict’s opinion — become the biggest hit of the fall.
The Bad: SAMANTHA WHO doesn’t simply describe ABC’s new Christina Applegate vehicle. It summarizes ABC’s entire comedy lineup. Quick — name me another ABC comedy premiering this fall?

The Good: Kelsey Grammer is returning to television with BACK TO YOU. We’re also incredibly excited for THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES and NEW AMSTERDAM. Which brings us to… the bad.
The Bad: Most of FOX’s hot new shows don’t premiere until January 2008! Premiering this fall, a slew of reality television shows this TV Addict couldn’t care less about. KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER, DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS, THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND, NASHVILLE, COPS, more COPS and AMERICA’S MOST WANTED. Call me when it’s 2008.

The Good: Thanks to GOSSIP GIRL, we’re confident that regardless of what happens with CHUCK, Josh Schwartz won’t be looking for employment anytime soon
The Bad: The rest of the CW’s lineup. Where’s the much deserved hype for REAPER and ALIENS IN AMERICA? Is anyone else sensing two more JACK & BOBBY’S in the new future? (ie. brilliant but cancelled).

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  • Joe

    Do you even WATCH TV? Or did you write this article a month ago? Chuck is being promoted non-stop on NBC. AND There has been a ton of good buzz about shows like Reaper, The Big Bang Theory & Dirty Sexy Money (which you failed to mention). If you’re going to call yourself the TV Addict, I’d suggest you get with the program.

  • Josh

    I was going to say the same thing about Chuck. That has been promoted as much or more than Bionic, from what I’ve seen. Also, Joe is right that The Big Bang Theory and Dirty Sexy Money have had enough promotion themselves. Maybe it’s since I’ve been watching Big Brother, but I’m already sick of seeing BBT promos.

    I haven’t watched the CW at all so I haven’t seen much about Gossip Girl or Reaper, except that Reaper has benefited from good online buzz due to the pilot leak. But aside from that the CW seems to be invisible to the mainstream public.

    BTW, an ABC comedy is Cavemen, which is arguably one of the most well known shows of the new fall season, regardless of the show’s actual quality. ABC really should put more promotion behind Samantha Who since that seems to be the better show.

  • Scott

    This laughable guy who has written this column doesn’t have a clue. The Big Bang Theory through a scientific poll, is the 9th most buzzed about show, and it is tied for fifth in intent to watch, which means it is a positive buzz. See here :


    Sometimes I really don’t know why people just open websites and utter some nonsense. This guy doesn’t have a clue, and should find another job. Also, this is not my opinion on this I am backing this up with a scientific poll. Anyone who reads this guys crap is nuts.

  • Well if you have to watch Big Brother in order to see ads for CBS shows like Big Bang Theory, I’m happy to be ignorant to their supposed “buzz.”

  • Just because a show is well-known, or highly anticipated, does not mean that their networks are promoting them. I watch ABC a lot, and while I’m so thrilled at the push they’ve given for Pushing Daisies, I haven’t seen a Cavemen preview yet (not that I’m upset about that). For every 4 PD previews, I see maybe 1 Samantha Who? or Big Shots promo. I think the point of the article is to show that networks seem to focus their energy on a bigger push for certain shows versus others. At the same time, those arguing that they are seeing too many BBT previews – have you seen any big Viva Laughlin or Cane previews while watching CBS? Or as many? There’s my two cents….

  • Linda B.

    I was also going to say i’ve seen several ads for Chuck.

    And, TVa – no matter what Trolls above say, i love your site and will continue to read!

  • Hey All,

    Just thought I’d chime in to defend ‘this laughable guy who has written this dumb column’ (ie. ME!)

    1. The column is written from a bloggers perspective — a blogger who receives a lot of PR material from networks. It was meant to be just a brief observation on where I think the networks are putting their resources.

    2. I wasn’t referring to televised promos. Why? Because as a TV Addict and PVR lover, I don’t watch commercials.

    3. Scott, thanks for helping me prove my point. Most of the shows I mentioned in ‘the good’ are on the list. That said, as someone who spends far too much time online monitoring TV sites. Please show me where all the excitement is for CAVEMEN, NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND, THE BIG BANG THEORY, K-VILLE, CANE, CHUCK and REAPER are??? Just because people may have heard of them, doesn’t mean they’re doing a good job of creating online communities and buzz.

  • Jake Malone

    Watch all 4 Previews !!!!!!!!!!

    Viva Laughlin Preview – New Series From CBS

    copy and paste





    VIVA LAUGHLIN, the new mystery drama with music, will have a special preview on Thursday, Oct. 18 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) following CSI before moving to its regular Sunday (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) time period on Oct. 21 to take advantage of a two week window in the schedule without football overruns.

    Thursday, Oct. 18
    10:00-11:00 PM VIVA LAUGHLIN (Special Preview)

    Sunday, Oct. 21
    8:00-9:00 PM VIVA LAUGHLIN (Time Period Premiere)

  • Scott

    Well, I think the most important thing is intent to watch, not just buzz. The Big Bang Theory is tied for 5th in intent to watch, and that is what is most important. If people are intending to watch the show than they must like it.

    Also, look on youtube. That is a good measurement of buzz. The Big Bang Theory has by far the most hits of any new sitcom. They are over 22,000 while the others are no more than 10,000. This proves someone must be interested. See here for BBT hits :


    Just look at the other sitcoms like Back To You it has less than 5,000 hits. Samantha who has 9,000 hits. That tells you a lot about the internet buzz and intent to watch. The Big Bang Theory is a lot bigger than you think.

  • Scott,

    That is an excellent point and really a tribute to NBC and CBS’ marketing saavy. I will say that both NBC and CBS receive top marks in terms of communicating with this TV Addict.

  • On the Ain’t It Cool News boards, whenever a suspiciously positive or enthusiastic review or comment is posted many are quick to cry “PLANT!” meaning that it was posted by someone with connections to the studio or network. This thread feels like it’s on the verge of becoming a greenhouse.

  • Scott

    Just for fun I went to Youtube, which is a good measurement of buzz, because people would have to be interested in a show if they took the time to watch its preview. I looked at the new sitcoms and here are the hits for their previews (dramas I did not do, too many) :

    1. The Big Bang Theory 24,103
    2. Cavemen 10,872
    3. Samantha Who ? 9,160
    4. Aliens in America 8,592
    5. Back To You 4,761
    6. Carpoolers 2,185

    Judging by that doesn’t that say The Big Bang Theory has buzz ? Of course it does, and the SCIENTIFIC poll backs it up by saying it tied for fifth in intent to watch. So people are obviously interested, and CBS is running tons of promos for it so they know it, too. Just go to CBS during their Monday sitcoms you will see promo after promo for The Big Bang Theory, and I saw 2-3 promos for this show during 60 minutes the other day and during their football games, too.

    Look, I am not going to say you didn’t do work on this, but The Big Bang Theory is one you clearly missed. And my personal opinion is with Chuck Lorre behind it, this show will be a big hit.

  • Courtney

    Maybe it’s because I’m in Canada, so we often see different ads, but I agree with almost everything the TVAddict has said (with the possible exception of Chuck). I was just discussing last night how last year I was really excited for/interested in many new shows, but this year I feel like September is nearly upon us and I haven’t heard enough about most new shows to look forward to them.

    However, I noticed that this year Fox doesn’t have any “early” starts like they did last year (Prison Break, Bones, etc), which may be slowing down the pre-season hype. With all shows starting later, networks don’t have to worry about someone filling out their dance card in late August, and then not be open to something new a month later.

  • Scott have proven a point but he over reacted with regards to the “laughable guy”, “Anyone who reads this guys crap is nuts” comments. It was an overlook.

  • Scott

    Jecoup, you are right. I overreacted by saying those things, and I do apologize. I guess I sort of flew of the handle, because I knew that a show like The Big Bang Theory (just using that as an example) was on that scientific poll buzz list, and I knew it was very, very popular on Youtube, which is a better measurement of online buzz then almost anything.

  • Scott, I think the great Homer Simpsons said it best when he stated,

    “Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that.”

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  • Scott

    [Quote]Scott, I think the great Homer Simpsons said it best when he stated,

    “Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that.”[/Quote/]

    LOL, that is a good one.

    I guess it is the statistician in me coming out. But you do have to admit those Youtube numbers are quite a difference. I mean if over 24,000 people actually took the time to watch a preview of the show, and the other sitcoms have less than half of that then there has to be more buzz and interest than you think, and the statiscal poll backs it up.

  • Scott
  • CC

    I LOVE chuck and I hope it gets as much ads as it needs to get an audience.