Fall is nearly officially upon us and we can’t help but ask what new TV shows will sink and which ones will swim? And what better way to answer that than to tap the “wisdom of crowds” (the notion that a diverse group of people are much more adept at consistently predicting others’ behavior versus their own). Using the Predictive Market Concept Evaluator®, Collider’s proprietary research method to evaluate the potential of product concepts, positioning concepts and more, we have predicted what show will rise to the top and create the most buzz on its series debut night. After analyzing 7 new shows we believe that Gotham (premiering 9/22 on Fox) will be the top contender in grabbing the series premiere ratings crown.
But what is driving Gotham’s buzz potential?
Gotham taps into a larger cultural trend of “immersive storytelling”, where we’ve seen people connect with stories on a deeper level. Driven by years of reality television and mindless blockbusters, the pendulum is swinging back to more intricate storytelling (think of other recent top rated television shows Game of Thrones and Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D). People are losing themselves in these complex, yet familiar, dramatic stories to escape their highly regimented lifestyles. And Gotham plays right into it as it provides and deeper and richer story experience for fans of the superhero Batman.
Gotham is based on the already popular legacy of Batman and focuses in on the city of Gotham, where the Batman story unfolds, before its hero rises to superhero status. The show sets back the clock to tell the back-stories of the characters that create Gotham, such as Detective James Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock. These two finds themselves in the middle of Gotham’s most high profile case: the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Throughout the investigation Harvey finds the background story to many of Batman’s soon-to-be villains including: Fish Mooney, Catwoman and The Penguin. It is one epic Batman prequel!
While there are lots of ways to get deeply immersed in our favorite stories (i.e., books, video games, fan fiction), the new prequel TV genre offers up a fresh way for superfans of a familiar story to become even more deeply immersed in those fictional universes. Last years hot show Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which Collider correctly predicted would be the top-rated premiere of 2013) paved the way for this new show genre by centering on the Marvel Universe where well-known superheroes, such as Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and Black Widow, live. But instead of being driven by these famous characters, fan excitement for these shows is driven by getting fully-immersed and feeling like a citizen of the worlds these characters come from. And we only expect this trend to continue.
See Gotham for yourself, and check back in a few days to see if our 500 consumers were able to repeat their predictive success. That is, of course, as long as we don’t get sucked into the immersive world of Batman’s Gotham.