Virgin Media’s Hotlist uncovered June’s most talked about TV shows with 8 new entries into the top 10

  • Eggs’cuse me, BGT shouts loudest as UK’s most talked about talent show
  • Soap drama gets curtains twitching as Coronation Street rockets to top three
  • A range of Dates with C4 sees show reach top spot for positive sentiment

12-7-2013 — / — Virgin Media’s The Hotlist has uncovered June’s most talked about TV shows and this month sees eight new entries into the top ten. June was the month the nation bid goodbye to the battle of the talent shows as Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK crowned this year’s winners.

BGT has topped The Hotlist again showing that the nation is still tuning in to the talent show in their droves, with the season finale in particular benefitting from nine million YouTube views. The final of BBC’s second series of The Voice UK took the number two slot, with social media buzzing about who the winner should be. Many fans took to their feeds to claim Leah McFall should have taken the prize over this year’s champion Andrea Begley.

Britain loves talent as reality TV trend ignites viewers on social media 

The UK’s love affair with reality TV shows no sign of wavering, with BGT, The Voice UK, Made in Chelsea, Big Brother and TOWIE dominating the top five most talked about shows on Twitter and Facebook this month. BAFTA winning TOWIE’s OMG story lines sparked talk from fans, with Joey Essex ending his engagement and a new season opener in Marbella.

Big Brother’s opening day caused a riot on Twitter and Facebook as viewers commented on Rylan Clark’s sparkly white teeth and made unfavourable comparisons between Dexter Koh, and The Hangover’s Mr Chow.

Battle of the soaps as Tina’s baby drives viewing figures 

For the first time, soap fever hit The Hotlist’s top ten as the latest developments in Coronation Street’s surrogate pregnancy storyline hit the screen. It really got the nation talking, some fans speculating about the fate of the baby while others slated Izzy (Cherylee Houston) as she fought with her cheating boyfriend Gary (Mikey North) as Tina (Michelle Keegan) gave birth to their baby.

Corrie has been the most popular soap in Virgin Media’s Hotlist over the last two months. Despite being one of the top five most viewed shows this month, drama on Albert Square hasn’t united viewers on social media. However, over the past six months, EastEnders has proved the most popular show out of the two with the highest average score on The Hotlist.

Period drama is Sunday night Queen thanks to Philippa Gregory adaptation 

The BBC’s big ticket Sunday night show, The White Queen resonated well with viewers who seem to have forgiven the historical inaccuracies pointed out by critics, such as zips on costumes and the use of southern accents. Meanwhile handsome breakout star, Max Irons, outshone his Swedish co-star Rebecca Ferguson in his role as Yorkist king Edward according to comments from fans on social media. The show was one of the most watched this month with nearly seven million views across linear and On Demand for its first episode.

The popularity of cats online is being replicated on TV now with Operation Snow Tiger and Horizon’s Secret Life of Cats two of the hottest programmes in June according to The Hotlist. Operation Snow Tiger gave wildlife fans a rare glimpse into the wild and ignited further interest on Twitter as viewers joined in with a Q&A session with the team behind the show. This additional access to the experts gave fans more reasons to talk about the BBC programme and was a roaring success that shows the power of social media to increase awareness.

Mating Season sparks success for Channel 4 Dates 

Dates on Channel 4, part of the channel’s Mating Season generated positive sentiment around Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter Oona following her grisly end in the previous week’s episode of Game of Thrones. Simple scene structure and quality of acting received high praise on social media, despite subsequent episodes receiving less favourable feedback from viewers and critics alike.

Meanwhile, ITV’s Les Dawson captured TV goers who tuned in to see the recording of the comedy great’s An Audience With… from twenty years ago. Despite limited material of Les performing, the show received favourable reviews from nostalgic critics and reached a highly respectable third in this month’s The Hotlist.

The Hotlist top ten in June** were:


TV programme The Hotlist ranking (out of ten)
Britain’s Got Talent 7.67
The Voice UK 6.67
Les Dawson: An Audience With… 4.00
Coronation Street 4.00
Dates 3.33
The White Queen 3.33
Frankie 3.33
Operation Snow Tiger 3.00
Horizon 3.00
Big Brother 3.00


Nick Forward, director of TV at Virgin Media, said: “The Hotlist reveals the most engaging television shows, taking into account their talkability and sentiment, not just the number of viewers. Research shows nearly two thirds of the world use social media while watching TV and 40% of us are discussing the TV we’re watching at the time***. So it’s not the biggest surprise that the live final of BGT was the hottest show of June, what with the egg-gate debacle. Fans remained overwhelmingly positive in their response to the season winners as they commented on the finale on Twitter. Measuring the true popularity of a show nowadays goes beyond just adding up the number of live viewers with The Hotlist aiming to provide insight into the buzz around the hottest shows on TV.”

The top five programmes for engagement:


TV programme Social media mentions
Britain’s Got Talent 21,925,290
The Voice UK 8,946,230
Made in Chelsea 6,824,075
TOWIE 6,049,330
Big Brother 5,053,257


The top five programmes for views:


TV programme Views
Britain’s Got Talent 20,055,072
The Voice UK 9,723,979
Coronation Street 9,614,824
The White Queen 6,920,278
EastEnders 6,774,001


Top five programmes for sentiment:


TV programme Sentiment
Dates 26.53%
Operation Snow Tiger 23.62%
Les Dawson 21.58%
Frankie 18.22%
The Voice UK 15.57%



Notes to Editors


* Virgin Media’s The Hotlist, is a measurement tool that provides an alternative view on TV engagement by sorting TV’s most viewed and talked about shows into an out-of-ten ranking which uncovers the hottest shows around.

The Hotlist takes three different ways of interacting with TV programmes into consideration: viewing the show (whether it’s live or on-demand), engaging with the show socially (engagement) and passionately talking about the show proactively (sentiment). All three factors are weighted to create a score out of ten. Sources include live viewing figures, Virgin Media On Demand, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Each programme in The Hotlist is represented by the best performing episode that month, with the highest viewing figures, highest level of positivity and largest level of engagement. E.g. Britain’s Got Talent is represented by the final episode as it provided the highest overall score.

To calculate what’s hot on the box Virgin Media has created an independently verified algorithm which has been verified by Chris Skinner, Professor of Statistics, London School of Economics: “The algorithm goes beyond standard viewing figures, to draw on new kinds of data, which provide richer insight into the impact of TV programmes. The approach enables the strength of the audience to be measured and explored in three separate dimensions, views, engagement and sentiment, or for these three dimensions to be combined in a simple summary way.”

** The Hotlist takes into account the four weeks from 27th May to 23rd June.



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