Dancing With The Stars pirouetted to the top of Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings for the week (and placed a second night of competition at No. 5), waltzing past Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, two nights of the WWE and the HBO broadcast of concert doc On the Run Tour: Beyonce and Jay Z.
In a promising bit of news for its long-term prospects, Fox’s Red Band Society made the top 10 with its debut episode.
As The Fault In Our Stars also proved all summer, there’s ratings/box-office/social-media gold in dramatic stories about teens dealing with life-threatening illnesses.
MTV’s freshman drama Finding Carter also found its way into the top 10, at No. 7, though the show is a dozen episodes into its first season. Regardless, grabbing buzz so soon with young audiences can create the kind of sticky relationships that networks and their advertisers are learning to love. Here’s the series & specials top 10 for the week:
On the sports side, it was almost all NFL again, led by the rematch of this February’s blowout Super Bowl between the Seattle and Denver franchises. The rematch was considerably closer: Seattle won in overtime after Denver’s Hall of Fame-bound quarterback Peyton Manning led an 80-yard drive in the game’s last minute to tie it in regulation.
But considerably less dramatic NFL games also easily trumped NASCAR and Major League Baseball, both with playoffs in process or about to be, all scripted and unscripted programming and most of college football. Only a college game featuring defending national champ Florida State University broke through the NFL’s Twitter hegemony, and that may have been as much for who wasn’t in the game as for who was, i.e., one Heisman Trophy winner with impulse-control issues.
The game itself, between No. 1 FSU and No. 22 Clemson, was a barn burner worthy of some tweet velocity, especially when it went to overtime.
But much of the conversation leading up to the game was about knuckle-headed Jameis Winston, who, in his infinite judgment, had stood up in the university’s student union and yelled an obscene phrase that had already become an Internet meme. After initially suspending him for the game’s first half, the university decided late Friday night, hours before the game, to keep him out the entire contest. The school’s explanation for the harsher penalty was, at best, cryptic.
Meanwhile, the lesson Winston got to learn last weekend: when a weird dude video-bombs hapless live newscasts with the phrase, it’s slightly amusing. But when that phrase comes at high volume from a Heisman-Trophy-winning quarterback in a busy student union after two weeks of NFL missteps on abuse of women, it may not play as well. Even less funny for Winston, it might even cost him a couple of dozen spots in next year’s NFL draft, and millions of dollars in the resulting contract. Who knew?
The Twitter TV ratings measure the unduplicated audience of Twitter users who see posts about a show during its initial broadcast and for the three hours before and after it. As always, Nielsen adds some caveats to its figures, as in here:
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.