By Marc Berman
One of the more notable items on television for the week of March 13th was The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. On Tuesday, March 14, Maddow boldly promoted a “breaking” revelation, devoting the episode to President Donald Trump’s two-page 1040 tax form from 2005.
According to leading social media measurement platform Shareablee, Inc., Rachel Maddow rose to 1.2 million social actions for the week, with 46 posts, cracking into the Top 10 at #9 overall across all broadcast and cable. Facebook drove 87% of the total engagement. According to Nielsen, the episode’s 4.13 million viewers was a new individual telecast viewing record for the nightly hour of news. Widely criticized, however, for not revealing all that much, that record-sized audience for The Rachel Maddow Show plummeted by 36% one night later.
Back at #1, feel- good syndicated The Ellen DeGeneres Show from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution in daytime remained a social media monster, leading the rankings with 7.7 total actions (79% driven by Instagram).
Well below Ellen, and #2 in daytime talk, were Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on the 4th
hour of NBC’s Today with 266,237 total actions. While on-air changes may result upon the arrival of Megyn Kelly on Today next fall, Kathie Lee and Hoda are unlikely to be impacted.
E! News continues to hold court in the top of the ranking in the #2 place overall, with 3.2 million total actions over 735 posts, driven by celebrity gossip content. At #3 was AMC’s The Walking Dead with 2.3 million total actions, which of course owes its success in great part to the power of social media. NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon ranked fourth overall with 1.7 million total actions, more than five times above the 287,609 total actions for chief rival The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Although Fallon is winning on social, Colbert maintained his new edge in TV viewers.
The season finale of NBC’s This Is Us, the breakout new scripted hit series across all benchmarks this season, rounded off the Top 5 with 1.6 million total actions, 69% driven by Facebook. According to one tweet:
While we all were expecting to find out the truth behind Jack’s death, instead we were treated to a very raw and real look at Rebecca and Jack’s relationship, which still had us wallowing in a bucket of tears on the couch for four hours.
The mystery of Jack’s death, meanwhile, will likely remain a subject of interest across social media all summer long. And the breakout success of this relationship drama proves there is still such a thing as immediate new network series hit. One key to the success of This Is Us was the digital After Show, featuring numerous actors each week discussing their character’s storylines.
On The CW, drama The Originals stepped in for parent series The Vampire Diaries, which concluded one week earlier in the Friday 8 p.m. hour. Never a “hit” per se via the traditional Nielsen ratings, there was buzz aplenty in social (and potential life beyond this season because of it) with 1.5 million total actions on 50 posts.
One other network scripted drama, Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, cracked the top tier with over 1.2 million total actions in this lucky 13th
season. In just two years, Grey’s Anatomy will tie NBC’s ER as the longest-running scripted medical drama in the history of television.
Outside of primetime, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America remain prominent in total actions, with 1.4 million total actions for Today edging 1.2 million for GMA.
Returning this week for the second half of its current third season after a three month absence, FOX drama Empire, had 1.2 million total actions with 54 posts. The series continues to draw significant social engagement and remains the strongest component of the network’s current primetime schedule.
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