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The WIT Analysis: ABC


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Of the new scripted shows presented by ABC at last week’s Upfronts, The Good Doctor, an adaptation of a South Korean format, generated the most social media traction according to analysis from The WIT.

The American version hails from House creator David Shore and stars Bates Motel‘s Freddie Highmore as a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. The Sony Pictures Television production is scheduled on Monday nights this fall. The trailer notched up 24 million views on its official Facebook and YouTube channels as of May 24, just behind FOX’s The Gifted. According to data collected by The WIT, however, the series is the most anticipated and talked-about new drama of the upcoming season across all networks, with 250,000 likes on Facebook, 222,000 shares for the trailer and 50,000 social media comments over the seven days following the network’s upfront.

The Good Doctor is clearly the most hyped about new show across all networks, and is a match made in heaven for many viewers: a creator that seems the perfect fit for a new misfit hero in a medical background, a beloved actor known for his role in Bates Motel, [and it’s based on a] Korean drama that many social media users know and rave about,” says The WIT’s Caroline Servy. “Its well-crafted trailer has gained the early seal of approval of the online crowd, and the representation of autism in a lead character is seen as an inspiring move, applauded by the vast community of people struggling with the condition.”

Second on ABC’s buzzworthy list is, not surprisingly, the return of Carsey-Werner’s classic sitcom Roseanne, which will be back for a limited eight-episode run with the original cast in 2018, marking the 30th anniversary of the show’s premiere. The trailer, largely consisting of scenes from the original, logged 33 million views, making it the most-watched clip among all the new shows this season. In terms of engagement and social media noise, however, traction was modest, with just 1,900 tweets since the upfront.

“America is undoubtedly excited to see their favorite TV family come back, and while comments confirm that viewers are near saturation point with reboots, the general feeling is that this one is relevant and necessary,” Servy says. “Other sentiments were expressed, like the hope it will stay true to the original, curiosity on how they will bring back John Goodman—whose character was supposed to have passed away in the last season—and concerns that the show might feel outdated to younger audiences and connect only with nostalgic fans. The low social media noise, contrasting with the massive interest in the trailer, also confirms that the most excited viewers are not the most active in social media. And of course, the publication of the trailer directly on ABC’s page (liked by over 2.5 million) boosted the number of views, which should lead us to temper the hype.”

Rounding out the ABC top three is the single-camera comedy The Mayor, slated for the Tuesday night comedy block after black-ish. Brandon Micheal Hall (Search Party) stars alongside Lea Michele (Glee) and Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) as a struggling rap artist who runs for mayor to promote his mixtape—and wins. The trailer was seen 14 million times, making it the most-watched clip for a new comedy this season. And it has the second highest social media fan base, behind CBS’s Young Sheldon, with 82,000 Facebook likes.

The Mayor comes out as a good surprise for most social media users and has the potential to become the comedy revelation of the new season, as black-ish was three years ago, with almost unanimously positive reviews around its trailer—it was judged fun without falling into stereotypes, and generated raving comments about the presence of co-stars Lea Michele and Yvette Nicole Brown,” Servy says. “And as many users point out comically, the story of a guy elected by mistake seems too entertaining and topical to be missed.”

In distant fourth is The Gospel of Kevin, a spirituality-themed Tuesday night drama, with a trailer that counted 7.7 million views. The show has logged 23,000 Facebook likes so far.

For everything you need to know about the 2017-18 season, visit World Screen’s fall season grid, with schedules by network, pop-up descriptions and trailers, and full listings by studio.



About Caroline Servy & Mansha Daswani

Caroline Servy is the managing director of The WIT. Mansha Daswani is editor of World Screen.

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