Which Show Has the Strongest Online Fandom? Science Attempts to Measure

After the voting for the first TV Guide cover poll closed, I wrote an article about what I thought the poll taught us about online fandom (read it here). In the article I asked whether or not we could actually measure fan passion for a show to determine which show had the most devoted fans. I put forward the hypothesis that shows with fewer ratings (“underdog shows”) might actually have more devoted fans, but didn’t think I could ever prove that theory.

Of course, science has a way to prove anything, doesn’t it? A university student by the name of Lethia Williams read and responded to my article. She said that she studied statistics and wanted to come up with a way to measure fan passion to see if we could, in fact, discover the show with the most devoted fans. Supernatural ended up winning that TV Guide cover poll, but Lethia’s survey doesn’t narrow the choices to only six shows like the cover poll did. Fans of every show have an opportunity to answer the survey. According to Lethia, with the proper sample size, we can attempt to measure which show has the strongest fandom.

You can fill out the 5-10 minute online here. You should only take the survey once (so no need for repeat “voting”). The point is not the total number of votes, but the depth of the answers themselves. It’s a very short and easy process! Lethia limited the survey to scripted shows only and shows that are currently on the air for the 2010 – 2011 season, so that we can measure the current online fandoms.

All of the data collected here will be paired with other data, including ratings, statistics from fansites and other information to help us determine which show has the strongest fandom. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of work Lethia is putting into analyzing all this data. My hat is off to her!

Will Supernatural come out on top as it did with the TV Guide cover poll? Or will the survey prove that fans of Fringe, Chuck, True Blood, The Walking Dead or The Vampire Diaries are the most devoted fans? Or will it be another show entirely?

We can’t wait to see the results. Go fill out the survey and help us figure it out!

Note: Below, someone asked why the survey needs to know your age, demographic information, etc. The reason for this is so that we get an accurate sampling of different age groups, etc. If we only had people 20 – 25 years old answering the survey, then it wouldn’t be a very accurate representation of the population at large. Lethia followed the practices of pollers and statisticians when composing the poll. You do not have to enter your name, so your information will not be used for anything other than helping us discover the outcome.

P.S. BIG thanks to Lethia for putting this together. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll get extra credit in school for it!

clarissa @ tvovermind.com


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