Dancing with the Stars Ranks 3rd in “Top Content Power Ratings”

Well, this may only be of interest to nerds like me, but I find it facinating; and I didn’t know it existed before today. It came up because “upfronts” are next week, which have to do with new show pilots – I guess they screen them and then the networks buy them or not. I have a friend who works on these – I suppose I could ask for more info, but that really isn’t the point of this post.

The Top Content Power Ratings are described in detail by Consumer Electronics Net (click to read the whole article):

NEW YORK, NY — (Marketwire) — 05/12/11 — For the fourth year in a row, American Idol has topped the Content Power Ratings report, followed by Glee, which moved into the No. 2 slot, after debuting at No. 9 on last year’s rankings.

Optimedia US (www.optimedia-us.com) created the report, which is in its fourth year and based on a proprietary metrics system that goes beyond traditional audience ratings to measure a show’s true commercial value and footprint. Content Power Ratings 4.0 factors in total cross-platform audience size, involvement, and advocacy — providing the industry’s only TV ranking system across three screens — TV, web and mobile.

This year, Optimedia reported a greater impact and influence in the rankings from the growth of social media.

While American Idol (#1) continued to dominate the popular culture across all three screens in 2010, Glee (#2) showed an impressive gain in terms of audience involvement, advocacy and overall search volume. It also has some 13 million Facebook fans and was the show that got the most press mentions in 2010. Dancing with the Stars ranked third, meaning that the top three shows in 2010 in terms of audience delivery, involvement and advocacy across multiple platforms had musical performance as their core offering.

“Content owners and advertisers are becoming increasingly aware of the influence that social media has on television viewing behavior. Content Power Ratings 4.0 is the most comprehensive measurement system in the marketplace today for evaluating the equity of television programs,” said Greg Kahn, EVP, Business Development at Optimedia US.

Maureen Bosetti, EVP, Broadcast Buying Director at Optimedia US, said, “Content Power Ratings gives dimension to the content available across multiple screens so we can more effectively place our clients’ creative in the right environments. This report enables us to tap into sponsorship opportunities across multiple platforms and amplify our client’s message where consumers are most engaged.”

I guess they are starting to realize – or maybe they have for a while – that the Nielsen ratings aren’t the end all be all of television. This is facinating, and it gives hope to shows that don’t seem to make the cut on the Nielsens but which have a strong online presence. Hollywood Reporter goes into more detail on the list itself:

NEW YORK – American Idol, Glee and Dancing with the Stars are the top three TV shows in the Content Power Ratings for 2010 that media agency Optimedia U.S. unveiled Thursday and that look at TV shows’ overall viewer equity based on audience delivery (across TV, Internet and mobile), involvement and advocacy, particularly in the social media realm.

South Park and Family Guy, ranked 211th and 88th in the Nielsen ratings, round out the top five, according to media agency, which announced its latest findings just ahead of upfront week.

Last year’s top five shows in the ranking, which the company has done since 2008, were Idol, Lost, Dancing, Grey’s Anatomy – which this year dropped to number 11 – and House – down to 14.

Two and a Half Men continues to have “real equity” and moved up from the 15th to the 10th spot last year as it performed well in all three measures, according to Optimedia.

Beyond the music-themed top shows, Boardwalk Empire was the top-ranked new show on the Optimedia list at number 21 as a rabid fan base made up for a relatively small audience. Hawaii Five-0 and The Event followed in the ranking of top new shows.

Most improved series in the overall rankings were The Big Bang Theory, which moved from the 24th into the eighth spot, Modern Family, which ranks 16th, up from spot 50, The Vampire Diaries (from 61 to 29), Cougar Town (95 to 42) and Breaking Bad (92 to 75).

South Park is the most-watched show online, and Family Guy has more Facebook friends than any other series, according to Optimedia.

Social media winners highlighted by Optimedia include Idol and Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, which the firm said has grown its ratings driven by high engagement on Twitter.

Positive social media buzz also helped such shows as Chuck, which took the top spot in this category, and The Game, which ranked sixth. Both shows avoided cancellation partially due to online buzz, Kahn highlighted.

Optimedia’s ranking of late-night shows put Saturday Night Live on top, followed by Conan and The Daily Show.

Idol last year showed its “unparalleled staying power,” even ahead of its new panel of judges, said Kahn. He pointed out its top Nielsen ratings position and its number one position in the number of Web visits and in the comScore mobile rating.

Meanwhile, Glee is a true “powerhouse” and the top challenger to Idol’s dominance thanks to such things as 13 million Facebook friends, its number one ranking in terms of press mentions and nearly all-positive online buzz, he said.