The WIT Analysis: CBS


NEW YORK: CBS’s Supergirl reigns supreme as the buzziest new show of the 2015-2016 season, The WIT reports in its latest analysis of social media indicators following last week’s network Upfronts.

Executive produced by the very busy Greg Berlanti (who has six prime-time network shows on his slate, including the returning The Mysteries of Laura and The Flash), the action/adventure drama Supergirl, based on the DC Comics female superhero, will premiere in November and tell the story of Superman's cousin who decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. It is repped by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.

Supergirl scored on all buzz indicators, according to The WIT, with over 10.9 million cumulative views for the trailer on YouTube and Facebook, a discussion volume of nearly 45,000 tweets on Twitter in the two days following the Upfront—making it the most discussed show across all networks—and, on Facebook, over 44,000 likes and 10,000 followers as of May 21.

"The reactions to the trailer are divided and passionate,” says The WIT’s Caroline Servy. “CBS clearly opted for a different approach than the average DC hero-based male-skewing drama. Hardcore fans of the genre do not approve of the girly feel of the trailer, nor the choice of a handsome actor to portray the awkward/geeky character of Jimmy Olsen. Some ironically compared the show to SNL's popular Black Widow parody. The mainstream online audience just seems very excited and charmed by the premise.”

The next promising contender is CBS's Tuesday night thriller Limitless—sold by CBS Studios International—which, like so many upcoming new shows, is based on a hit feature film. It scored solid anticipation figures and better initial reviews than FOX’s Minority Report, Servy notes.

Limitless is the second most sampled trailer of the new CBS 2015/16 season with more than 667,000 views on YouTube and Facebook. The show’s social-media accounts, however, have been slower to take off, as was the case was CBS’s new series last season. Servy attributes this in part to CBS doing less of a promotional push for its show’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, as compared with other networks.

"On the positive side, people like the premise and have high hopes for a TV sequel to the popular movie,” Servy observes. “Fan communities rave about Bradley Cooper's presence in the TV version—with some concern over his real presence throughout the series—and about the comeback of Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter in a lead role. On the other hand, at seeing the crime investigation plot with police officers involved, some social media users are skeptical that this powerful premise could be just another CBS procedural with a twist, a sort of ‘CSI on pills.’”

Rounding out CBS’s top three is the comedy Angel from Hell (CBSSI). It emerged as one of the few buzzworthy new comedies of the upcoming season, along with FOX's Grandfathered. Also slated to premiere in November, during the Thursday comedy block, the single-camera comedy stars Glee’s Jane Lynch as a colorful, slightly crazy and highly inappropriate "guardian angel", with the mission to provide guidance to a female doctor with a seemingly perfect life. Although its Facebook/Twitter fan bases are still small, its trailer delivered 434,000 views as of May 21 on YouTube and Facebook, with a significantly high approval (Thumbs Up) ratio, especially compared with other upcoming comedies on rival networks.

"The first reviews are really positive, social media users find the 6-minute trailer hilarious and are expecting anxiously the comeback of Jane Lynch,” Servy says. “The odd couple formed by Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson (Psych, Two and a Half Men) raises a lot of expectations, the only doubts perceived so far being the capacity of the series to hold its premise over a full season.”

Check out World Screen's fall season grid here.