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First fall TV show cancellations – The Playboy Club and Free Agents

This week, NBC announced that it’s canceling both The Playboy Club and Free Agents. So, our question is, did the tweet numbers predict this? The answer is a resounding yes in the case of Free Agents, but in the case of The Playboy Club, the answer is slightly less obvious.

In its first week on the air, The Playboy Club garnered more than 12K tweets from 9K contributors, generating a reach of more than 8.6 million. And during the last three weeks, there have been more than 36K tweets posted about the show. These are not insignificant numbers; The Playboy Club consistently fell in the middle of our rankings based on volume, reach and contributors. But the picture looks less rosy when we dig into some of the tweets about the show and who’s posting them.

@HughHefner and other Playboy-affiliated accounts drove much of the conversation about the show. Hefner tweeted 30 times in three weeks about it, generating 22% of all tweet impressions about The Playboy Club. Other popular tweets called The Playboy Club a poor imitation of Mad Men and made jokes about not watching it. More than 8K tweets were posted the day the show was canceled, making it the highest volume day so far for the show. That’s probably not a good sign – more people talked about the show being canceled than the show’s premiere.

As for Free Agents, it was one of the three shows we discussed last week as a sure bet for early cancellation. It didn’t receive much attention on Twitter, only generating 8,900 total tweets over three weeks. And the little conversation it did spark was pretty lukewarm – no one seemed to love it and no one seemed to hate it – and even the cast seemed to sense the show would be canceled. Here’s a tweet from the show’s leading actor, @HankAzaria:

So, really, no surprises there. And now we wonder, what show will be canceled next? Will it be FOX’s big and boring Terra Nova? Some of the quieter CBS shows like A Gifted Man or Unforgettable? Or will it be one of CW’s relative duds like H8R or Ringer? We’ll know soon, and we’ll keep you posted.