Fox’s revival of Prison Break is poised to be this TV season’s breakout hit, according to analytics firm ListenFirst Media as reported by Variety.
Prison Break, which features original stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, so far has attracted 19.5 million total engagements on social media from the show’s announcement at upfronts in May through the end of August. Prison Break — originally the story of a man (Miller) who went to great lengths to bust his brother (Purcell) out of prison — isn’t scheduled to premiere until next spring.
Prison Break was followed by NBC’s This Is Us, although the ensemble drama had less than 10 percent of the user engagement of Prison Break with 1.56 million total engagements. Reboots — of which there are a few this season — seemed to be popular in general, with CBS’ take on MacGyver coming in third with nearly 560,000 and Fox’s resurrection of 24 rounding out the list at tenth with nearly 200,000 total engagements. ABC’s sitcom Speechless came in fourth with more than 505,000 and Fox’s baseball drama Pitch at nearly 340,000.
Early social engagement, unfortunately for networks, doesn’t necessarily translate into viewership. Six of last year’s top-ten most-buzzed-about series ended up being canceled and two of those were reboots: NBC’s Heroes Reborn and ABC’s The Muppets. Also on that list were CBS’ Limitless, Fox’s Minority Report, Grandfathered and The Grinder.
And last year’s two most buzzy shows — CBS’ Supergirl and Fox’s Scream Queens — didn’t turn into big ratings hits. Supergirl is moving to The CW this fall to join its other DC Comics’ siblings. Scream Queens will be back on Fox, and its performance on social media is stronger than its TV ratings would indicate.
Unsurprisingly, TV viewers seem to be more excited about the return of shows they already know and love with ABC’s TV stalwart America’s Funniest Home Videos leading the list with nearly 19.3 million total engagements. That’s followed by NBC’s America’s Got Talent with nearly 17.7 million total engagements and Fox’s Empire with 10.44 million total engagements.
ListenFirst’s lists of top-ten new and returning broadcast shows are below:
Top-Ten New Broadcast Programs 2016-17:
Fox’s Prison Break: 19,495,934
NBC’s This Is Us: 1,560,911
CBS’ MacGyver: 558,073
ABC’s Speechless: 505,161
Fox’s Pitch: 338,870
Fox’s Son of Zorn: 260,796
Fox’s Lethal Weapon: 252,469
ABC’s Designated Survivor: 240,726
ABC’s American Housewife: 199,160
Fox’s 24: Legacy: 197,163
Top-Ten Returning Broadcast Programs 2016-17:
ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos: 19,296,194
NBC’s America’s Got Talent: 17,687,373
Fox’s Empire: 10,441,249
ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy: 9,212,687
ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: 8,845,100
The CW’s The Flash: 7,524,560
NBC’s The Voice: 7,258,008
ABC’s Once Upon A Time: 7,172,048
Fox’s Scream Queens: 6,313,512
The CW’s Supernatural: 4,630,960
Source: ListenFirst Media
READ MORE: Variety