The two-step topped the zombie lurch in this week’s Twitter TV ratings, as the CMA Awards on ABC danced all over the grave of AMC’s ratings king The Walking Dead. On the sports side of Nielsen‘s weekly toting up of TV social-media reach, it was almost all NFL again, now that baseball has wrapped its season, and the NBA is dribbling into its long, wintry regular season.
With its Twitter TV ratings, Nielsen measures the unduplicated audience of Twitter users who see a post about a given show during its initial broadcast or during the three hours before and after. This week, the CMAs had the biggest audience of any show, some 7.6 million Twitter users who saw more than 1 million tweets about the Country Music Association’s favorite artists. That was nearly double No. 2, The Walking Dead, and triple No. 3, FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show.
The rest of the week’s list of top series and specials was studded with the usual suspects, including two Shonda Rhimes shows, four reality programs and whatever it is you’d like to call the WWE’s always-Twitter-popular programming.
One note: It will be interesting to see what happens to Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, the latest iteration of the popular VH1 music reality franchise, after it fired one of its newer stars over the weekend. Yung Berg was charged with assault last week after a domestic dispute that left his girlfriend/co-star with a bloody lip and other injuries. The franchise has had a long history of brawls and domestic violence involving its stars, but the Yung Berg case comes after a fall filled with NFL missteps on domestic violence around the Ray Rice case and other incidents involving domestic violence and its stars. By the weekend, Yung Berg was a former reality-show cast member.
On the sports side, the NFL returned to the kind of dominance it enjoyed back in September, when not enough people were paying attention to the end of baseball’s regular season. This week, NFL games took nine of the 10 top slots among the Sports Events rankings (and all the games attracted bigger audiences than anything on the Series and Specials side). The list was led by NBC’s Sunday night game between longtime rivals Green Bay and Chicago. That the Packers walloped the Bears 55-14 seems not to have significantly impacted the online conversation.
The only non-NFL game to crack the top 10 was a CBS college football game featuring SEC powers Alabama and LSU that had implications for this year’s national title hunt. Alabama won in overtime, 20-13, in a game chock-full of players who likely will be playing in the NFL in the next couple of years.
As always, Nielsen provides a raft of caveats and conditions with its numbers. Here’s the disclaimer:
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.