What TV shows had the most buzz on Facebook? The results may surprise you

By Alex Weprin 

Facebook released its 2012 year in review this morning, sharing the most-talked about people and things on the social site. As far as the most-buzzed about TV shows of 2012 go, the results are somewhat surprising.

The biggest TV show of the year on Facebook was easily A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” followed by TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” CBS’ ” The Big Bang Theory,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and PBS’ “Downton Abbey” rounded out the top five.

You can see the rest of the top 10–which actually includes only one other broadcast program– here.

The list seems to once again show that there is a significant disconnect between TV ratings and what people share and talk about on social media. “The Big Bang Theory” is the most-watched comedy on TV, and draws far more viewers in just about every demographic than both “Honey Boo Boo” and “Duck Dynasty.” While it is easy to point out that Facebook might skew younger than the overall group of TV viewers, the bottom line is that age doesn’t seem to be a factor here, as many of the other shows that made the list have older audiences.

In addition, while broadcast shows typically dominate the ratings landscape, only four broadcast shows made the cut, and two of those were the modestly rated “Downton Abbey” and “Wife Swap.” In addition, the highest-rated program on cable TV, “The Walking Dead,” wasn’t able to crack the list.

In fact, there was a decided lack of drama on the list  with only “Downton” and “Game of Thrones” cracking the top 10. Every other program was a comedy or reality show. This despite the fact that many of the top shows on TV are dramas, like “Walking Dead,” “NCIS” and “CSI.”

If anything, the Facebook list makes for interesting research. What makes a TV show break through in the social landscape, and what are the benefits to doing so? Hopefully TV networks–and Facebook–will take advantage of the data they have, and try to put the pieces together.