From season finales of This Is Us to The Superbowl, popular television events are expertly created by marketing professionals and regularly dominate the media landscape. TV events draw millions of viewers, generate hundreds of thousands of social media posts, and become full segments on TV and radio talk shows.
Just look at the season premiere of season eight Game of Thrones. The first episode of the fantasy show’s final series, drew 17.4 million viewers in the United States breaking records for HBO.
While the series has been cultivating its viewership for more than eight years, this isn’t the only reason why the season premiere – and other major TV events like it – have been able to find huge success. Here are some successful strategies that help create major TV events.
Fan And Community Culture
At least part of the success of Game of Thrones is its fan and community culture. Many franchises have passionate groups of fans who don’t just watch every episode, but they also wear official merchandise, they dress up as their favorite characters. Many of these fans also create their own show related content such as blogs and podcasts.
Passionate fans get their friends in on the fun too. This support can also migrate to spin-offs and additional series. It’s little surprise that Star Trek, which has one of the most devoted fanbases in the world, has taken its fan base through seven (all very popular) TV shows.
Many people also tune into major TV events because of the competition aspect. You may not be a devoted fan of many of the sports at the Olympics, but you may tune in and cheer on your country.
Like the Olympics, the Eurovision Song Contest, which sees countries from around Europe perform music for votes, is a big TV event. It pulls a large audience from the approximately 740 million people who live in Europe. The interest in the competition aspect of Eurovision has also increased with Eurovision betting odds allowing people to put money on who they think is going to win. They may not enjoy the song sung by the singer from Albania, Greece, or Macedonia, but when they can place a bet and potentially win something, they will watch the show on TV.
With so many TV shows that you could potentially tune in to, it helps to read critics’ reviews and see if they think that a show is worth watching. A show may be overlooked, but, with a review from a respected critic, when its second season debuts it may find a much larger audience.
We have seen this with some of the best-reviewed shows of 2018. When the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina debuted its second season on Netflix, many people posted about it on social media. The same happened for Westworld, another HBO shows that, when it came back for season two, had more people talking about it because of critics’ reviews.
Creating Major TV Events
Major TV events may seem like they happen by accident, but they are anything but. With support for fans, quality TV-making and a bit of competition (or a cliffhanger if it’s a drama), networks can strike gold.