Media & Entertainment

2018 Emmys Watch: A Profile of TV Show Fans in the Peak TV Era

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In the “Golden Age” of TV, the audiences of each show are as numerous as the content that exists. CivicScience polled over 2,000 Americans about the top Emmy-nominated television shows. A profile of each show’s fans follows.

Game Of Thrones Fans


The HBO ratings-juggernaut “Game Of Thrones” is far and away the most-watched Emmy nominated program. 20% of respodents doing anything is significant, but when it comes to a show, it’s huge.

People who watch “Game Of Thrones” engage more with media overall. They are:

  • Streaming video watchers
  • 3x more likely than general population to be Netflix subscribers
  • Fans of TV documentaries
  • Most influenced by social media in terms of what to watch
  • More likely than the general population to go to the movies at least once a month
  • Fans of TV sitcoms
  • DVR users

“Game Of Thrones” fans are more likely to subscribe to HBO NOW. This, in conjunction with their viewing habits, like preferring Netflix and streaming video services, makes sense. HBO has struck gold with its a la carte digital subscription service—a quarter of “Game Of Thrones” fans use it to access the show.

Overall, this group is much more likely to subscribe and consume content over online streaming services.

Saturday Night Live Fans

Long standing favorite “Saturday Night Live” garners the attention of 17% the general population ages 13 and older. Similar to late night talk shows, SNL’s content quickly becomes viral and meme-able over social media. It’s been on NBC for over 40 years, but today’s audience is rooted in 2018 behaviors and practices.

“Saturday Night Live” fans are:

  • Twice as likely to follow music trends
  • Early adopters
  • Fans of TV sitcoms
  • Go to the movies at least once a month
  • Fans of music and entertainment TV
  • Netflix users
  • Streaming music listeners

Perhaps the trend most interesting in the data above is the link between music and SNL fandom. The show features a weekly popular music guest, but it’s surprising how much fans of the show are also interested in music. It’s likely that fans of the show aren’t watching simply for the sketches.

Fans of “Saturday Night Live” are overall more engaged on YouTube. Given that the show’s virality hinges on YouTube engagement.

This Is Us Fans

“This is Us” has captured the attention of a very specific audience. Initial viewership surprised networks and critics alike, and viewer vengeance around a certain kitchen appliance in relation to the plot solidified the show as a bonafide hit.

Given the tear-jerking quality of the show, it’s not surprising the audience skews female.

Fans of “This is Us” are:

  • More likely to be married
  • More likely to also watch “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • Nearly twice as likely to have been in therapy at some point in their lives
  • More than 2x more likely to be fans of Julia Roberts

“Westworld” Fans

HBO’s “Westworld” attracts a smaller, but nonetheless dedicated fanbase. It’s worth noting that of the Emmy-nominated shows CivicScience polled, two of HBO’s shows ended up in the top 5. For a premium cable channel in the days of streaming, this shouldn’t be ignored.

Fans of “Westworld” are:

  • 3x as likely to be Netflix users
  • Fans of the NFL
  • More likely to be Millennials
  • More likely to be men

“Westworld” viewers are more likely than their HBO “Game Of Thrones” counterparts to subscribe to HBO NOW. Then comes the question of which came first, a subscription to the platform, or an interest in watching “Westworld”? Either way, it’s a win for HBO’s subscriber numbers.

“The Crown” Fans

2018 has been a banner year for Netflix’s Emmy nominations. The streaming-only platform received more overall nominations than HBO, signaling a true key-change for the future of television viewing. “The Crown” alone scored 13 Emmy nominations.

Fans of “The Crown” are:

  • More likely to be women (73% women, 27% men)
  • City dwellers
  • More likely to make $100k+ annually
  • More likely to believe Netflix has the best selection of original content among all streaming platforms
  • Most influenced by social media

Fans of “The Crown” are more receptive than non-fans to streaming services. Beyond their love of Netflix original content, they’re nearly twice as likely as non-fans to cite online streaming as the primary way they watch TV.

Fans of “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Scoring eight nominations in all four acting categories, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a heady hit known for its acting chops.

Fans of “The Handmaid’s Tale” are:

  • 4x more likely to follow music trends
  • 2x more likely to own an e-book reader
  • More likely to be 18-34-year-olds
  • Fans of TV dramas

Over half of “The Handmaid’s Tale” fans watch TV primarily via online streaming. Given that Hulu is typically a secondary streaming service (with Netflix being the most ubiquitous), it’s unsurprising these fans watch online content.

With the wide world of TV today, it’s no shock that the audience for each show is as varied as the content. But, for certain, this year’s Emmy nominations and the audiences of each show exemplify the emergence, and now dominance, of streaming television on viewer behavior and preferences.

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