The Emmys might not be No. 1 among awards shows in terms of ratings or social-media oomph, but they dominated the week's Twitter TV ratings, nearly doubling even the biggest sports event, the season-opening college football game featuring defending national champ Florida State and its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston, now a sophomore.
Most weeks, it's a sports event that tops Nielsen's most tweeted-about lists. But with a holiday weekend on the back end, the Emmys on the front end and not much in between but a batch of college football games to distract sports fans, the TV awards show now can claim at least one smallish crown for itself.
Elsewhere, Big Brother put two episodes in the top 10 for series and specials, while the star-filled going-away episode for Chelsea Handler grabbed sixth place on the comedian's way out the door at E! Most of the rest of the Top 10 are familiar names, mostly reality and wrestling shows, plus ABC Family's social-media powerhouse Pretty Little Liars, which claimed the No. 2 spot, but with only about half the audience reach of the Emmys broadcast.
Nielsen's Twitter TV ratings measure the unduplicated audience of Twitter users who saw at least one tweet about a given show during its initial broadcast or during the three hours before and after that first airing.
Among sports events this past week, college football's opening weekend scooped up most of the social-media attention, with five games amid the top six on the list. The exception, interestingly enough, came with that last NFL preseason game featuring the Cleveland Browns and the previous Heisman Trophy-winning freshman quarterback, Johnny Manziell.
Johnny Football's triumphs and tribulations have been social-media super fodder since he was still becoming known at Texas A&M. As a pro, the social hubbub has only gotten worse, so much so that even a throwaway preseason game, Manziell's last chance to lock up a starting role before the NFL regular season begins Thursday, reached nearly 4.5 million Twitter users.
As always, Nielsen has lots of caveats and, in the second chart, some asterisks:
Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before, during and three hours after an episode’s initial broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to an episode from when the Tweets were sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am. Sports Events include those on Broadcast and National Cable Networks only across all day parts. For multicast events, networks are listed alphabetically and metrics reflect the highest Unique Audience across all airing networks, denoted with an asterisk.