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'Lost' tops social media interactions chart

Report shows Web buzz and ratings often out of sync

NEW YORK -- "Lost" may rank 10th in the Nielsen ratings among TV shows, but it is the top show in terms of social media interactions, ahead of ratings champ "American Idol."

The shows average 131.4 million and 126.5 million social media interactions (posts and reads) per month, according to a new report from analytics firm Networked Insights.

Its SocialSenseTV network ratings report comes just in time for broadcast upfront week and covers the most social media-buzz generating shows. The company said it monitored "billions of interactions from millions of blogs, forums and other sources over a three-month period."

And it confirms what network executives and media buyers knew even without any data: lower-rated shows can often have an avid online fanbase.

For example, more than half of the shows on the SocialSenseTV top 20 list don't make Nielsen's top 20 ratings list.

Networked Insights says it will offer its new SocialSenseTV data, described as a "social media listening platform," as an additional metric for media buyers beyond TV ratings.

"Generally, shows that rank high in social media interest but comparatively low in Nielsen ratings provide tremendous value, because their ad inventory is likely less expensive," the company said.

"Programming has changed significantly over the last 30 years and with it the way audience engagement is measured," said Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights. "This index -- and its additional assessments of online conversations -- provides a new level of understanding for media buyers and sellers when assessing the true value of a show in an increasingly social media savvy world."

Here are the SocialSenseTV top 20:

Rank/ Show/ Social index */ Nielsen rank
1 "Lost" 131.4/ 10
2 "American Idol" 126.5/ 1
3 "Glee" 60.5/ 4
4 "Simpsons" 55.9/ 44
5 "Heroes" 55.1/ below 50
6 "Dancing with the Stars" 51.4/ 3
7 "House" 51.1/ 20
8 "CSI: Miami" 48.5/ 24
9 "SNL" 47.6/ below 50
10 "30 Rock" 45.4/ 35
11 "Cold Case" 41/ below 50
12 "Family Guy" 40.5/ 40
13 "The Office" 39.5/ 25
14 "Bones" 38.9/ 27
15 "NCIS: LA" 37.9/ 18
16 "So You Think..." 35.2/ below 50
17 "Chuck" 34.9/ below 50
18 "CSI" 34.5/ 11
19 "Survivor" 34.4/ 13
20 "How I Met Your Mother" 32.2/ below 50

* 1 unit = 10,000 interactions

Source: Networked Insights