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This TV Season’s Biggest Moments on Twitter

2 minute read | June 2014

This past TV season saw many programs launch beyond the screens we watched them on through social media. TV moments became thousands of messages on Twitter within seconds, with the energy of engaged fan bases, the influence of program stars and press, and the quick creativity of advertisers amplifying posts to millions of people engaged on Twitter.

So, as the broadcast TV season comes to a close, Nielsen Social took a look back at the programs and moments that reached the biggest audiences and engaged fans at record levels on Twitter in the U.S. this season, from Sept. 1, 2013 through May 25, 2014.

Among series programs, “Breaking Bad” on AMC led the pack, setting the record for reach of a single airing as well as average over time. Tweets about the series finale on Sept. 29, 2013 reached 9.1 million people across the night. The cast was a big part of the conversation, as 51,000 Tweets mentioned @aaronpaul_8 and 19,000 Tweets mentioned @BryanCranston.

“The Voice” on NBC created a social TV moment on May 13, when viewers set the record for total Tweets posted around an airing—1.92 million—and sent a record number of Tweets in one minute: 310,000 at 8:59 p.m. ET. That’s the top minute of TV-related Twitter activity for the season so far—even above “Super Bowl XLVIII,” the program with the biggest all-around Twitter activity and reach. What drove that volume of activity? #VoiceSave was mentioned in 1.5 million Tweets as fans interacted with the on-screen program.

But “The Voice” wasn’t the only reality competition connecting with viewers through Twitter. Fans of “Nuestra Belleza Latina” on Univision engaged with the show at record levels this season. Individuals tweeting about the show sent an average of 8.3 Tweets around each airing.

Among specials, the GRAMMYs and the Oscars created the biggest Twitter moments. For the Oscars on ABC, 1 billion Twitter TV impressions meant that each of the 13.9 million people in the Twitter audience saw 75 show-related Tweets on average. The @TheEllenShow account sent the biggest Tweet of the night, a selfie that was re-tweeted 1.1 million times around the event. Ellen DeGeneres’ show account was mentioned 1.9 million times in total around the broadcast.

The GRAMMYs on CBS also had its moment. The 13.8 million Tweets sent about the awards show put it just under the Super Bowl in rank for total number of Tweets. Looking at the conversation, a single Tweet from @Arbys to @Pharrel made the biggest splash, as it was re-tweeted 57,000 around the broadcast.

This year’s Super Bowl on FOX wasn’t just the biggest sports event on Twitter, it was also the most social TV event across all program types with 15.3 million people seeing a total of 25.3 program-related Tweets. Those Tweets were seen a total of 1.8 billion times, which means that each person in the Twitter Audience saw an average of 120 Tweets about the event. The top hashtag of the TV event—#esurancesave30—was mentioned 1.8 million times.

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