The Season’s Top TV Shows on Twitter Include Walking Dead, Super Bowl and Fuller House

Nielsen shares most-tweeted moments

Headshot of Jason Lynch

The most-watched show of the 2015-16 season in the 18-49 demo—The Walking Dead—also topped the Twitter TV charts for the third straight year.

Nielsen released its rundown of the season's most-tweeted moments, and revealed that Super Bowl 50, The Walking Dead, Fuller House and the Grammy Awards were among the most popular series, specials and sporting events on Twitter from Aug. 31 through May 29.

Almost a billion tweets about television were sent in the U.S. during that time, and the most popular show to tweet about, once again, was AMC's The Walking Dead. It was the No. 1 series on Twitter for the third straight year, with an average of 435,000 tweets sent in the U.S. per episode, from 150,000 unique authors.

Nielsen Social includes relevant tweets sent in the U.S. from three hours before the telecast, through to three hours after a telecast, in local time. Those tweets include official program hashtags, programs names, character and talent names and handles, as well as other program-related keywords.

But given that The Walking Dead averaged 13.2 million total viewers in live-plus-same-day numbers this season, those stats also indicate that just 1 percent of that audience (150,000 people) actively tweets about the show as it airs.


Empire was the No. 2 show overall and was the top broadcast series on Twitter, with 387,000 tweets per episode, followed by The Bachelor (248,000) and The Voice (176,000). Broadcast shows held just four of the top 10 spots, with cable occupying the other six, led by The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones (252,000) and WWE Monday Night Raw (169,000).

The most-tweeted minute during any episode this season came during The Voice's live semifinal results on Dec. 8 at 8:53 p.m. ET, when viewers sent 217,000 tweets in 60 seconds to help decide which contestant should be eliminated.

In Spanish series on U.S. TV, two Univision shows topped the Twitter charts: La Banda (49,000) and Nuestra Belleza Latina (45,000).

The Nielsen data included streaming services as well, but because those shows are not broadcast "live," Nielsen Social counts all tweets sent from the program's release date, plus 30 days. (In other words, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison of the average tweets per episode for broadcast and cable series.) Fuller House came out on top among streaming series, with 1.26 million tweets overall, followed by two other Netflix shows: Making a Murderer (526,000) and House of Cards (433,000). Making a Murderer might have fared better, but Nielsen's tracking occurred from Jan. 5 to Feb. 4, missing the show's first two weeks of release.

The Oscars was the season's most-viewed nonsports special, but the Grammys edged out that ceremony on Twitter, with 7.6 million tweets (compared to 7.2 million for the Oscars).


Further down the specials list, The Wiz Live! had more tweets than Grease Live (1.6 million to 1.2 million), even though Grease Live had more viewers (12.2 million to The Wiz's 11.5 million).

On the sports front, Super Bowl 50, of course, was the No. 1 sports event of the season, with 16.91 million tweets sent about the Super Bowl (from 3.8 million unique authors). The most-tweeted minute occurred immediately after the halftime show, when 162,000 tweets were sent at 8:44 p.m. ET.


The No. 2 sports event was Kobe Bryant's final NBA game, where he scored 60 points, which generated 4.55 million tweets.

Nielsen also tracked debate tweets, and found that the most-tweeted-about debate was CNN's Democratic matchup on Oct. 13 (2.85 million tweets). The most-tweeted debate minute also occurred during that event when Bernie Sanders' comment about Hillary Clinton's emails sparked 33,500 tweets.

The other most popular Democratic debates on Twitter lagged far behind the Oct. 13 CNN debate: NBC's Jan. 17 debate had 1.14 million tweets, while CNN's March 6 debate in Flint, Mich., generated 923,000 tweets.

The top Republican debate was CNN's on Sept. 16, which had 2.46 million total tweets. CNN's Dec. 15 debate came in second among Republican debates (2.40 million), followed by Fox News' March 3 presidential primary debate (2.31 million).

In other categories, Nielsen compiled the season's top hashtags and mentions, which included Super Bowl, Kobe Bryant, Empire, Donald Trump and, surprisingly, Kanye West, who was the most-mentioned Twitter handle in the series episode and TV special categories.


Nielsen's entire report about the top Twitter moments of the 2015-16 season can be found here.


@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV/Media Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.
Publish date: June 6, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT