Exclusive: The most adored TV showrunners [infographic]

By Natan Edelsburg Comment

Networked Insights (NI) continues to put together interesting data that highlights different spectrums of the TV ecosystem on the social web. We reported on their upfront predictions (for NBC, ABC, Fox) and which TV stars from new programming had the most buzz. Now the NYC-based company has provided Lost Remote exclusively with an inside look at the most popular TV showrunners on the social web.

NI was recently included in Forrester “Wave” report, a quarterly look at the most important analytics tools, for “its focus on media planning and buying.” Sean Reckwerdt, the company’s lead analyst and cultural anthropologist described the importance of being included in this Forrester report. “Forrester’s recognition is a boost for Social TV because it’s acknowledging the importance of listening to audiences,” he explained. “Networks can now optimize TV show marketing and content around what’s resonating with viewers in real-time.”

Part of this resonance is now coming out in affinities towards TV creators and showrunners, especially in the last few months. Supernatural showrunner Eric Kripke received a huge spike in mentions on his birthday proving how much fans adore him. TV showrunners are going to have to be more visible than ever before to help secure success for their shows. Last year, we began to see this trend with Sons of Anarchy’s Kurt Sutter who promised fans a trip to visit him if they broke the ratings record (which they ended up doing). We spoke to NI CEO and Founder Dan Neely about the below infographic featuring Eric Kripke (Supernatural), Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries), Dan Harmon (Community) and JJ Abrams (Lost/Fringe), and why marketers should be paying attention to show runners’ social buzz.

LR: What did NI learn about fans appreciation for showrunners?

Dan Neely: Networked Insights’ data tells us the audience is quite smart and the brand of a show is no longer just about the stars (actors) in them, but the showrunners have gained the trust of the audience. People are buying into these showrunners the same way they do with brands, or the same way they do with certain movie directors e.g. People love Quentin Tarantino movies and will watch them all.

Television fans are evaluating their broadcast media choices based on who is behind a show and not merely tuning in because of clever marketing. This is significant because it demonstrates how the social web can be used by networks as a supplementary data layer when developing and evaluating new shows. Viewers are saying they will commit time to a show if it has high caliber talent behind it, that’s not always validated by surveys or research panels, and we’re discovering all of this with social data.

LR: How can NI clients use this kind of data to make better marketing decisions?

Neely: We believe the real-time voice of the viewer, as expressed in the social web, can be applied to the entire television production lifecycle and make it perform more efficiently. Our clients produce, distribute, and advertise around broadcast content and by adding real-time viewer insights into their decision making they’re essentially amplifying what’s resonating with audiences by increasing the relevancy/interest of that content. At the same time, they’re minimizing the risk associated with these decisions because the Networked Insights platform reveals viewer trends in real-time.

Data has shown that a showrunner’s social engagement can be a strong indicator of a show’s potential success and brands can use that information to make smarter media investments. Our goal is for brands to spend the minimal effective amount in media and data like this helps make that easier.