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Episode Reporting

The CW wanted to determine how its sophomore series The Flash premiered by looking at the performance of the series’ Season 2 premiere. By using Canvs, the CW was not only able to analyze emotionality around the Season 2 premiere, specifically, but was also able to contextualize its performance by comparing it to the Season 1 premiere of The Flash, its other comic book-themed series, Arrow, and three other competitive series.

Key findings AT A GLANCE


The Flash S2 cast of characters drove 24% more Reaction volume than that FOX’s Gotham.


The Flash S2 premiere saw the highest loyalty levels among the competitive set.


The CW comic book dramas saw the largest crossover effect among networks in the competitive set, with The Flash leading the pack.

Note: Competitive set defined as FOX’s Gotham, The CW’s Supernatural, and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.



In order to gauge how successful a particular show has performed overall, networks typically look at a litany of data points. While each set of data typically has its own value when providing valuable insights into the overall success of an episode, Canvs is the only qualitative Social TV analytics platform which can explore how audiences are reacting to Social TV content.

Objectives Icon


  • Provide compelling insights to inform the value of CW’s investment in The Flash by pointing to emotional Social TV performance for the Season 2 premiere episode.
  • Compare The Flash’s performance during the telecast to that of the Season 1 premiere episode. What core emotions resonated and during what moments?
  • Analyze The Flash’s Season 2 performance against similar thematically-aligned programming (i.e., FOX’s Gotham) to determine if audience Reaction around The Flash was more impactful in one show or another.
  • Determine how The Flash performed against other comic book-themed programming.
  • Gather intel on programming to determine if certain characters resonated more than others and at what frequency.




Within the Canvs dashboard, analyze the total Reaction volume, total Reaction Rate, and the core emotions that surfaced within plus and minus three hours from the linear airtime window during both the Season 2 premiere episode and the Season 1 premiere episode of The Flash.

To determine how fans of a thematically-similar show, FOX’s Gotham, differed from CW’s The Flash in emotionality and overall level of discussion, the Compare feature in Canvs was leveraged to get an accurate read.

As an entry into the uniquely active comic book-themed TV space, The CW’s comic book property, Arrow, and the competitive set were analyzed to see if there were any crossover Reactions related to The Flash.

Key Findings Icon


  • The season 2 premiere of The Flash saw the introduction of four all-new core emotions for the series: crazy, dislike, sad, and cried. These core emotions corroborated our findings that certain emotions have strong correlations to ratings and viewer loyalty.
  • Crazy, for instance, saw retention rate sky rocket to 38%. That means 38% of reacting authors who expressed "crazy" against S2:E1 also reacted to the S1:E23 finale.
  • The CW’s The Flash S2 premiere saw the highest loyalty levels among the competitive set. 24% of authors who reacted to the S1 finale came back to react to the S2 premiere. That amounted to more than 13K unique authors.
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
      24% retention rate

    • Arrow: 22% retention rate

    • Supernatural: 22% retention rate

    • Gotham: 13% retention rate

  • The Flash S2 cast of characters drove 24% more Reaction volume than that of FOX’s Gotham. Fans emotionally reacted 14,432 times around The Flash’s characters, accounting for 46% of the overall Reactions expressing love (52%), excited (12%) and dislike (5%). Gotham drove significantly less character-focused Reactions, with only 3,845. The majority of character discussion surfaced around The Flash’s lead star, Grant Gust (Barry Allen), driving 8,329 Reactions, or 58% of character Reactions.


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