Just saw this in the Washington Post. It's a really interesting statistical analysis done by Social Media analysts Network Insights on the top "talked about" shows on social media sites. Guess what? They are NOT the highest viewed programs!
The study was done for 18-49 year olds. The question that the Post-er poses is, would you continue to spend on the highest rated shows, or would you, perhaps test out a show like Criminal Minds, which, oddly enough, is the second highest buzzed about show in this demographic, but glaringly absent from the top ten highest viewed show list?
I think that what this shows, actually, is that a show can build up to higher ratings USING online chatter. So, if Criminal Minds could actually get a strategy in place to amplify and accelerate that natural buzz, I think you'd see their name in the top 10 soon enough. And as for Desperate Housewives, who has little to no online chatter....well, last I checked, those ladies are getting older, and I would get on the gravy train before Susan becomes a great grandmother already! :)