The WIT Analysis: NBC


The WIT’s Geise Fiscina offers insights into the social media traction around NBC’s fall slate, led by the sitcom Sunnyside.

The network only added three new shows for its fall slate. Sunnyside, a single-camera comedy starring Kal Penn—also a writer and executive producer on the NBCUniversal International Distribution-repped show—was the most-watched trailer of the three released by NBC. It logged about 9 million views on its official Facebook page and YouTube playlist. (By way of comparison, NBC’s hottest trailer last year was Manifest with 21 million views in the week following the upfront.) The Thursday night sitcom generated some social media conversation and about 1,100 Instagram followers. Some of the commentary was skeptical about the comedy’s chances of survival, while others were inspired by the diverse cast and saw this first look “as a cross between cult sitcoms It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Community and Parks and Recreation,” Fiscina says.

The sole new drama for NBC in the fall, Monday Night’s Bluff City Law, had about 8.5 million trailer views, a small number of Facebook likes and about 700 Twitter and Instagram followers. “Moderate excitement is observed around this series set in a Memphis law firm led by a legendary lawyer [played by Jimmy Smits] and his brilliant daughter who have a complicated relationship,” Fiscina observes. The Voice will deliver a strong lead-in, Fiscina reports, but the show is up against two established hits: The Good Doctor on ABC and Bull on CBS. “Social media users tend to think the new series will face competition mostly from the saturated courtroom drama genre,” he adds. While Smits is a major attraction for audiences, “the unanimous question seems to be: except the Memphis location, what makes this different from any other law show?” Fiscina says.

The new comedy Perfect Harmony had a similar number of trailer views at 8.4 million. Scheduled following The Good Place, the Disney-distributed show stars Bradley Whitford as a former Princeton music professor who unexpectedly stumbles into choir practice at a small-town church. It has the highest number of Facebook fans (3,600) of the new NBC shows, as well as about 400 Twitter followers and 1,500 Instagram fans. The show’s potential viewers are excited to see Whitford (also an EP) in the role, while the presence of Anna Camp led to some social media commentators to compare the show to Pitch Perfect and other choir movies. “That may also be the reason some users wonder if this Perfect Harmony is able to last longer than the duration of a movie,” Fiscina says.

Visit’s Fall Season Grid for all the details on the new and returning shows on the U.S. broadcast networks, and a listing of pickups by studio.