If “Dallas” fans want the TNT drama to stick around for a while, TV ratings expert Marc Berman has some advice for them: Start tweeting.
The amount of buzz a show generates on Facebook, Twitter and similar sites is increasingly important to its chances of survival, says Berman, editor in chief of TV Media Insights, a top industry news site. For example, the ABC Family series “Pretty Little Liars” doesn’t generate huge ratings, “but when you look at what that show does on social media, the numbers are through the roof,” Berman says.
“Pretty Little Liars” generated 391,000 tweets that were seen by 3.9 million users last week, according to media research giant Nielsen, which now measures Twitter chatter about TV shows. The show ranked second only to AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which generated 484,000 tweets that were seen by 4.9 million users.
“Dallas” has a strong social media presence too. The show’s official Facebook page has received 1.4 million “likes,” and its Twitter feed has 78,000 followers. Berman says fans can support the series this season by talking about it on social media and sharing “Dallas”-related tweets and Facebook posts.
The “Dallas” stars are also getting in on the action. Yesterday, Linda Gray told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that she’s even received pointers from TNT — and co-star Josh Henderson — on the ins and outs of social media.
(This season, your Dallas Decoder is doing his part too. I’ll live-tweet each new episode on Monday nights — and to keep the conversations going after the show, my weekly #DallasChat Twitter discussions will move to Tuesday nights.)
Of course, traditional ratings matter too, Berman says. Last year, “Dallas” averaged 2.7 million viewers on Monday nights, but the audience grew to 3.8 million when you include people who record the show on DVRs and watch it later in the week. “The show must hold onto those numbers. If you see it lose 10 percent or 20 percent of its audience, that won’t be good,” he says.
And yes, DVR numbers matter. “Nobody looks at one set of numbers anymore. With ‘Dallas,’ you’re adding another million viewers [through DVR playback]. That’s important,” he says.
Berman also thinks it’s a good sign that TNT will give the show a midseason break. The cable channel plans to show the season’s first eight episodes in the winter and spring, and then put the series on hiatus until the summer, when the final seven hours will be telecast.
Summers are less competitive, and when “Dallas’s” first season was shown in the summer of 2012, the series averaged 4.2 million viewers. “By breaking up [the third season], you’re going to give ‘Dallas’ a better shot at staying on the air,” Berman says.
So what does Berman, a longtime “Dallas” fan, think of the new season? He’s seen the first two episodes and is impressed with the way the writers have made J.R.’s legacy part of the storyline. “It’s honoring Larry Hagman’s memory the way the original series honored Jim Davis’s memory after he died. They’ve done it really, really well,” he says.
The real-life Ewing Energies gas station will open today at 466 10th Avenue in New York City.
Henderson, in his guise as John Ross, announced the news in a video posted this morning to “Dallas’s” Facebook page. “The price of gasoline — it’s out of your control. But not mine,” John Ross says.
The gas will sell for just $1.98 a gallon — but for today only. As John Ross explains, “Unlike our competitors, who want to rob you blind, I just want to make us both rich.”
If you can’t make it to the station today, you can visit the “Dallas” Facebook page to enter a sweepstakes to win “Black Gold” gift cards.
Look Who Else is Tweeting (and Talking)
Speaking of tweeting: If you’re looking for Julie Gonzalo after 3 p.m. Eastern today, check Twitter. The “Dallas” star says she’ll live-tweet the afternoon portion of TNT’s 26-hour “Dallas” marathon, which kicked off last night and will culminate tonight at 9 with the debut of the third-season premiere, “The Return.”
Meanwhile, Gonzalo’s co-stars are hitting the talk-show circuit to promote Season 3.
Henderson will appear on “Live with Kelly and Michael” today and “The Wendy Williams Show” on Friday, February 28. Both shows are syndicated, so check your local listings.
According to Gray’s Facebook page, she’ll also appear on “Live with Kelly and Michael” soon. Gray’s post also indicates she’ll guest on “Today,” “Piers Morgan Tonight,” “Watch What Happens Live” and “Katie.” Precise airdates haven’t been announced.
Finally, Patrick Duffy is scheduled to drop by “Live with Kelly and Michael” on Friday, March 7.
Boy, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan must love discussing “Dallas” as much as we do!
We’ve Got It Covered
Your Dallas Decoder is going to work harder than ever to deliver exceptional coverage of “Dallas” this season. In case you missed it, here’s an overview of our plans.
“Drill Bits,” a roundup of news about TNT’s “Dallas,” is published regularly. Share your comments below.