The WIT Analysis: NBC


Tracking YouTube trailer views, Facebook likes and Twitter activity, The WIT will be analyzing social media responses to the new U.S. network shows all week, beginning with NBC, where Will & Grace generated the most buzz.

The much-anticipated reboot is one of just three new fall shows on NBC (the rest are slated for midseason). It aims to help the network re-establish its iconic Must-See TV Thursday night block at 8 p.m., leading into the renewed Great News. Will & Grace’s existing Facebook and Twitter accounts respectively added 47,000 likes and 5,400 followers over the last seven days. The five-minute trailer with the original cast members generated 25 million cumulative views on Facebook and NBC’s YouTube channel. In that same period, there were more than 33,000 tweets with the show’s official hashtag.

“Fans had their wishes fulfilled by the announcement of the revival and are delighted to see their favorite characters come back,” reports The WIT’s Caroline Servy. “Based on Facebook interactions and Twitter conversations, the sitcom stands out as one of the top five titles for next season across all networks, with a widely positive and emotional response to its trailer. While a small share of the audience is tired of remakes, a majority is excited and confident. Nostalgic viewers are getting prepared to binge old episodes awaiting the fall [premiere] and are keeping their fingers crossed they won’t be disappointed.”

Not surprising given the strong audience demand for true-crime shows, there is much anticipation for Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, also slated to air on Thursday night following This Is Us in its sophomore season. From Dick Wolf, trading his usual procedural format for a serialized anthology, the limited series explores a sinister crime that shook America. The trailer, recalling the notorious Menendez case, notched up almost 10 million views on its official Facebook page and YouTube playlist. It had a moderate count of 16,000 Facebook likes as of May 22.

“While it certainly arouses curiosity, the opinions are divided around the project for various reasons, starting with the fear that the true-crime genre and the controversial story of the Menendez brothers have been overused already,” Servy says. “While some viewers could soon reach a saturation point, others [see] the story and format as fascinating. Whether the spirit of the Law & Order franchise or Dick Wolf’s touch will be found is another dividing point, although the presence of Nurse Jackie‘s Edie Falco in the lead is anticipated as an interesting choice.”

Third on NBC’s buzzworthy list is the Monday 10 p.m. entry The Brave, from Keshet Studios and Avi Nir. It revolves around elite undercover military heroes. The trailer was seen 10.4 million times on its Facebook page and YouTube playlist as of May 22, but the fan base on Facebook and Twitter is still moderate and the show only recorded 2,250 tweets.

“The fast-paced, good-looking trailer was well received by the audience but also aroused skepticism at several levels,” Servy reports. “Beyond the fact that many social media users found the trailer revealed too much of the story, they didn’t feel the show distinctive enough versus other military dramas, nor did it feel edgy enough to stand the comparison with landmark cable shows such as Homeland. Whether the final result manages to avoid stereotypes and stray from the safe, politically correct tone will be key to its reception among fans of the genre.”

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.