Passionate Fan Index: Where is the Passion?

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As TV viewers have more options for viewing, ratings increasingly omit crucial information about why viewers tune in. Viewers are good, passionate viewers are great.

Ratings Alone Don’t Equal Passion

If you’re looking for passionate, engaged fans who can’t get enough of a TV show, look no further than NBC’s hit franchise set in Chicago (Chicago Fire / PD / Med). The series’ fans are so enamored with the interaction of the characters within and between the different shows, that their demands have led to a 3rd spin off, Chicago Justice, coming in 2017.

To unlock the factors that create passion for the Chicago universe, as well as other shows, we created the Passionate Fan Index, which measures the level of engagement and emotional connection fans have with a show.

Seeking a more detailed perspective on what makes a passionate fan, we used E-Score Programs data and combined key factors including: Would Miss a Lot (if show were to go off air,) Recommended Show, Program Character Ratings, and more, to reveal which shows have dedicated fan bases.


When we applied this index to the list of shows returning to broadcast TV it became clear that dramas elicit the most passionate fans. In fact, 90% of the shows in the top 10 are dramas, with The Goldbergs being the outsider.


No Sophomore Slumps

Shows that make it beyond their premiere season, like Chicago Med, rely on building an engaged, passionate audience to survive. The Passionate Fan Index is especially helpful at assessing the viability of these second year shows. Adding the PFI to TV ratings gives a more comprehensive view of a show and its ability to connect with viewers.



The PFI for second year shows is similar to the full list (all returning shows) in that dramas rule. Shows like Shades of Blue began creating highly passionate audiences from their debut. With viewers commenting, “[the] storyline is different than what you think it’s going to be by all the other drama series,” and citing Jennifer Lopez’s “real life portrayal of a cop and mom,” it’s no wonder Shades of Blue tops the sophomore show’s PFI, and it also cracks the top 10 overall.


Passion Across Social Media

Another excellent indicator of program health not captured by ratings is the strength of the positive social media conversations surrounding a show. Again, using E-Score Programs data we created a Social Conversation score, taking into account several key attributes only found in our product, including Social Sharing, Recommended Show, and Talked About Show.




As mentioned, non-scripted shows are not high on the lists for passionate fans. None show up in the top 10, with only Running Wild With Bear Grylls appearing in the top 15 of returning shows. However, although they may not inspire the most passionate fans, non-scripted shows generate social conversations. Big Brother and The Bachelor score in the middle to very low on passion, respectively, but both make the top 10 for their ability to generate social conversations.

Although non-scripted shows make an appearance in the Social Conversation score top 10, the list is still largely dominated by dramas. Also there is significant overlap between the Passionate Fan Index and the SC score top 10, with 40% of the PFI top 10 list also appearing in the top 10 of the Social Conversation list.



When searching for passionate TV fans, look for key elements of strong character identification and great character relationships which build over time and create appointment viewing and strong word of mouth in social circles.

In order to know which programs are most viable, you need to go beyond the ratings. With E-Score Programs you will have the full story as our unique attributes can create index scores that measure exactly what you are looking for. See the whole picture before setting your campaign with E-Score Programs.



Feel free to utilize these infographics in your social shares or other uses. To download, simply click the images and right-click, or pull the full sized images.

The Passionate Fan Index (1).png Sophomore Shows Making Their Passionate Return.png A-Social-Conversation-Trend.png

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