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 ‘Empire’ Creating Their Own Empire on Social Media

‘Empire’ Creating Their Own Empire on Social Media

A quick look at the new roster of TV series will make you quake with excitement.  Three shows this season follow the stories of familiar and popular characters. So, we have Agent Carter, Daredevil and Better Call Saul. These shows have the advantage of having an existing fan base, and that too born from pop culture giants such as the Marvel Universe and Breaking Bad.Yet, they are being beaten in numbers by the original drama series Empire, starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Empire has a series average of 12.97 million viewers, the most impressive this year. Then there is Fresh off the Boat, which looks at the lives of immigrants in America, significantly contributing to the conversation of diversity in television. And finally, Tina Fey returns to television with the unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, in the new series format followed by Netflix.
So these are some of the most talked about shows this midseason. There is a fascinating case as to what makes a show popular. The shows are good, but that’s relative. How does Empire beat the odds to generate so many viewers? And how ahead in the race are you, when Marvel is backing you?
Empire jumped from 9.9 million viewers for its season premiere to 17.62 million for its season finale. How did that happen? First, there is the content. The show centres on the drama that takes place at Hip Hop Music and Entertainment Company. The series recruited producer Timbaland and leveraged music by popular hip hop artists such as Kanye West and Mary J. Blige, to bring attention to the show. The storylines and marketing in general were designed to speak to the African American and LGBT community, with the show having characters with these backgrounds. Right in the beginning, it got a huge shout out from super producer Shonda Rhimes on twitter and the consistent plugging in by star Taraji P. Henson with her 3.38 million twitter followers set the conversation rolling. The show has the highest number of twitter followers and Facebook fans, at around 425 K and 2 million respectively (Source:
Agent Carter
Agent Carter is a spin-off from the movie Captain America and follows Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell, as she traverses the male dominated society with the backdrop of World War II. The show has an average of about 5 million viewers for its eight episodes. With all the talk about women fronting projects in the entertainment industry, Agent Carter is an important development in this direction. For online promotion, we have star Hayley Atwell, who keeps it light by posting funny and embarrassing pictures from the set. And when you have the shadow of Marvel looming behind you, sometimes that’s all you need. Everyone supports everyone. You’ll see it on their twitter pages, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. tweeting about Agent Carter and Agent Carter tweeting about Avengers: Age of Ultron. That’s a lot of exposure for one show.
Fresh off the Boat
The show is based on a popular memoir by Eddie Huang that follows his family, as Taiwanese immigrants in America. The show currently airing has received criticism from Eddie Huang himself for straying from the actual events of his life. The show’s promotion was another hit, when they tweeted a controversial promo poster which was accused of being racist. Despite this, it’s still the first American show with a cast of Asian-Americans as protagonists, and clearly as the old adage follows, all the negative publicity hasn’t deterred the show from being one of the most talked about and acclaimed series this season.
Better Call Saul
Breaking Bad is unarguably considered to be one of the most acclaimed shows in television history. Better Call Saul is a sort of prequel to the show and follows the life of James McGill a.k.a Saul Goodman. When the show premiered, it set a record by being the most watched premiere in cable television’s history with 4.4 million viewers from the 18-49 category(Source:  The twitter page of Better Call Saul is extremely active, with multiple posts nearly every day. Its fan engagement consists of tweeting quotes from the series, asking fans to vote on the fate of characters and retweeting actor Bob Odenkirk’s (who plays Saul Goodman) messages.
The television adaptation of the comic series Daredevil has just been released by Netflix, on April 10. It’s a superhero show by Marvel. Enough said? The show is already popular on twitter and you’ll find cool Daredevil inspired posters on its twitter feed as well as photos from the shows promotional street art. It’s not just the Marvel family that tweets about Daredevil, but the popular Netflix family as well (House of Cards, OITNB).  It comes second, with 90k followers and 1.3 million fans on twitter and Facebook respectively.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The show is all about second chances, with its character Kimmy being rescued from a doomsday cult, and restarting her life in New York. So it’s the thrill of being in New York, Tina Fey’s wit and all of that. On Facebook and twitter, the show has come up with the Kim-oji- Kimmy’s take on the emoji, if you haven’t guessed it yet. There’s also #Schmidtfaced. In fact their entire feed consist of re-tweetable character posters with funny quotes from the show.
Note: All images have been taken from the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the respective TV shows and Actors.