Moneyball for TV: A Model for Forecasting the Audience of New Dramatic Television Series

Starling D. Hunter III, Ravi Chinta, Susan Smith, Awais Shamim, Alya Bawazir


The specific objective of the present study is to develop and test an early-stage, empirical model for predicting the audience of new television series. We test our model on a sample of 107 new dramatic television series that debuted on one of the four major US television networks during the 2010-2014 seasons. In particular we examine the role of three previously untested predictors of the performance of new television shows, all of which can be known prior to the decision to greenlight the pilot script. Those three are the originality of the concept of the show, the track record of success of the show’s creative team, and the size of the conceptual network created from the teleplay of the pilot episode.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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