Shows large and small had fans hitting up the Internet by the millions to share their thoughts throughout 2016. The tallies are in, and we know which show won the most social media engagements over the past year, and it's not the one that many would have guessed. No, it wasn't The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones or Westworld. The most social show of 2016 was none other than Freeform's drama-dripping Pretty Little Liars, and it claimed the top spot by an impressive sum. Check out the top 10 shows with highest social media engagements:
Pretty Little Liars actually scored more than 100 million more social media engagements than its closest competition, the all-popular Walking Dead, according to an analysis conducted by the research firm ListenFirst Media (via Variety). PLL's 256.75 million takes into account the engagements on social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube from January 1 to December 15, 2016. The data does not take into account the impressions on Twitter due to the fact that Twitter has an exclusive deal with Nielsen when it comes to the release of its own numbers. Data from Snapchat is also excluded, as Snap Inc. does not share information with third-part groups like ListenFirst Media.
Despite airing on the relatively small Freeform, Pretty Little Liars has been a social media hit from the very beginning. The show's target demographic of young women between 12 and 34 has translated to tons of activity online by vocal viewers. It will almost certainly never rival shows on big networks when it comes to total ratings and viewership, but it blows other returning series out of the water when it comes to social media buzz. And it's kind of mind-boggling that Game of Thrones and Grey's Anatomy were both topped by unscripted fare like America's Funniest Home Videos, though The Daily Show and The Tonight Show's nightly airings definitely helped those shows ascend the rankings.
ListenFirst Media also compared the social engagement scores of all the freshman series that debuted in 2016, and the surprises continued. Freeform had another social media winner with Shadowhunters and its tally of 60.78 million posts. The runner up freshman series was Stranger Things, which only inspired 12.99 million engagements. All in all, Pretty Little Liars was far and away the clear winner of new and returning shows.
The Pretty Little Liars domination in 2016 is a natural extension of its performance in 2015. The 256.75 million engagements is a 25% bump from January 1 - December 15 last year. If growth continues into 2017 the way it did into 2016, Pretty Little Liars could become the most social show yet again for its highly anticipated last act.
Barring some new developments, 2017 will be the last year that Pretty Little Liars stands a chance at ranking as the most social show. The series kicks off the second half of its final season on Tuesday, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET. Take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what else you can watch in the new year.