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Understanding TV Audiences With Affinity Data: How Gilmore Girls Awakened Fans

By Maura Woodman of Affinio

Gilmore Girls fans are being reawakened!

A revival season of the hit comedy-drama, Gilmore Girls (2000-2007), is scheduled for release on Netflix come November. To capitalize on the show’s 16th anniversary and upcoming revival, Netflix transformed over 200 coffeehouses into the Gilmore Girls favorite hangout — Luke’s Diner — for fans nationwide.

The stunt took the internet by storm. Quickly, #LukesDiner was trending on Twitter along with #GilmoreGirlsRevival and #GilmoreBirthday.

It was a bold marketing move by the streaming giant — one that successfully evoked both nostalgia and excitement. Quickly, the fans went to work on social media, bringing Gilmore Girls back into the spotlight.

Understanding TV Audiences

To better understand those engaging with the show, I ran an Affinio report on the trending Gilmore Girls hashtags. While social listening tools can capture the conversations happening at a given time on the topic of Gilmore Girls, social listening can’t tell you what niche communities and cultures exist amongst those chatting.


United by their love of Gilmore Girls, this audience of breaks out into nine niche communities including Mommy Bloggers, Grey’s Anatomy Fans, and Pop Culture Fans, to name a few. By segmenting individuals into interest-based communities, we can hone in on each community and uncover their cultural differences and influences.

Uncovering Audience Interests

It has been seven years since Gilmore Girls was on the air, so I was curious to learn what other shows its fans have been devoted to in recent years.

Here are the top 100 entertainment interests of the entire Gilmore Girls Audience:screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-1-47-21-pm

Gilmore Girl Fans have evidently been enjoying Grey’s Anatomy, Orange is the New Black, and Pretty Little Liars. Based on these high-relevance shows, we can infer that this audience has a definite affinity towards shows with strong female leads. 

Diving a bit deeper into the data, here are the top 100 entertainment interests of ‘Hardcore Gilmore Girls Fans’:


Although these interests are similar to the overall interests of the entire audience, there is one very striking difference — the TV show, Parenthood, shows up as the most relevant entertainment interest to the ‘Hardcore Gilmore Girls Fans,’ but is absent in the top 100 most relevant entertainment accounts to the general audience.

How come? Actress Lauren Graham, the co-star of Gilmore Girls, is one of the main characters in Parenthood. It is evident that these “Hardcore Gilmore Girls Fans” have stuck with Graham for the long run, even outside of Stars Hollow (get the reference?!)

A Grey’s Anatomy Community? – Finding Audience Commonalities

One of the more surprising niche communities that claimed the attention of many Gilmore Girls Fans were super fans for another show — Grey’s Anatomy. This cluster is particularly interesting because by looking at their audience interests we can infer they are a younger demographic. Shows like Pretty Little Liars (a drama about high school girls that first came out in 2010) are highly relevant to this audience. Chances are they were probably too young to tune into Gilmore Girls when it first premiered in 2000.

So what has urged this younger audience to take an interest in Grey’s Anatomy and Gilmore Girls? The common thread is undeniably Netflix. These viewers were young in the heyday of Grey’s Anatomy and Gilmore Girls, but Netflix has provided the opportunity to jump in and enjoy the drama all the same.

Netflix Understands its Audience Big and Small.

Another segment to take notice of is the ‘Bookworm’ community. This community is the most niche – it is small, secluded, and highly interconnected. The reason why this community falls into the Gilmore Girls Audience is a contextual one. The show is a champion of literature, journalism, and intellectual banter. Rory, one of the main characters, has a deep love of the classics. In later seasons, Rory studies English at Yale and writes for the school paper. Her dream is to work someday for the New York Times.

Here are the interests of the ‘Bookworm’ community:


Top interests accounts include Penguin Random House, J.K. Rowling, and John Green.

The excitement is growing leading up to the Gilmore Girls Revival. Netflix has done an excellent job reawakening these communities with experiential marketing tactics.

This tweet was amongst the highest retweets in the News/Media community:


By leveraging affinity data like in the analysis above, networks have the cultural insights needed to make better strategic decisions to grow, cultivate, and better nurture their diverse fan community over time. Will Netflix’s next promotion cater to the Bookworm audience? Or perhaps they will build a campaign to create excitement in the Mommy Blogger community? Whatever the strategy, make sure it uses a data-driven approach. 

There is no doubt the Gilmore Girls Fans, new and old, are ready to welcome the show back with open arms! As for me, of course, I’ll be tuning in! But to be honest, I can’t wait until cafes across the country transform into Central Perks, and my best Friends return to the screen. What do you think, Netflix?


TV[R]EV is written, curated and incubated by the BRaVe Ventures team. Find TV[R]EV on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date on the TV[R]EVOLUTION.