Monday, September 17th, 2018 | 4 min read
This year marks the 70th installment of the Primetime Emmy Awards. And while TV (and the way talk about it) has transformed over the past 70 years, the public’s obsession with drama certainly hasn’t.
To get a clear sense of which TV drama is dominating the public conversation, we analyzed the social media data surrounding the the 2018 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Drama Series. Here’s what we found:
From September 15, 2017 to September 14, 2018, Stranger Things racked up the most Twitter mentions compared to its fellow nominees – by a long shot (thanks in part, one can assume, to its innovative marketing strategy). Its closest competitor among nominees was Game of Thrones, which gained 10.9 million mentions during this window.
Interestingly, Game of Thrones hasn’t aired a single episode – let alone a season – during the time period we measured. The most recent season for the show ended in August 2017, one month before our year-long look-back.
Even without new Game of Thrones episodes to binge, the series has remained top of mind for millions of viewers. And with Season 8 still in the distant future (it’s not expected to be released until some time next year), there’s plenty of time for the uninitiated to binge previous seasons and get caught up on the show – and contribute to the social media frenzy surrounding it.
While The Handmaid’s Tale received the least mentions from September 2017 to September 2018, its hashtag, #handmaidstale, was a particularly strong performer.
With nearly 300,000 mentions, #handmaidstale has built up steam, largely due to its adoption in political commentary. The hashtag has become a symbol of women’s rights, and is often attached to posts lambasting politicians, controversial legislation, and other news items that highlight the challenges faced by women in society.
Here are some examples of non-show related #handmaidstale mentions that we’ve seen:
STOP KAVANAUGH. Spent this morning on Capitol Hill dressed in a #HandmaidsTale costume to protest Kavanaugh and the oppressive anti-choice agenda he represents. Even in the “fertility cloak,” my baby bump shows.#StopKavanaugh pic.twitter.com/Ti19VzRWKN
— Lacy MacAuley (@lacymacauley) September 4, 2018
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) September 4, 2018
— Cathy Brooks (@CathyBrooks) September 12, 2018
Maybe we’d all rather cry than laugh? Compared to the Drama category, Emmy nominated Comedy series faced an uphill battle for mentions. The most-mentioned comedy on Twitter was black-ish, with 815.2K mentions. The next most popular series was Atlanta, with 716.2K mentions – which saw a spike in mentions in March 2018, when Season 2 aired.
Not everything can be measured in mentions, however. When you look at Emmy-nominated Outstanding Variety Talk Series followed by influencers across different sectors, one program consistently stayed ahead of the pack: The Daily Show.
Using Sprinklr Listening data, we were able to see which variety talk shows were being followed by social influencers in a number of key segments. Among comedy influencers, political influencers, tech influencers, environmental influencers, and more, The Daily Show led the pack with the most followers.
The show beat out Last Week Tonight among comedy and political influencers, and edged out Full Frontal with Samantha Bee among feminist influencers and LGBT influencers. Among tech influencers, it was even able to come out ahead of Game of Thrones. These figures show that in the current political environment, people are more invested in satire that both informs and pokes fun at national affairs and figureheads.
While we can’t predict which shows will go home with Emmys this year, we can see what’s trending online beforehand. Based on the data compiled for top dramas, it’s clear that to get people talking, you need to transport them out of their daily dundrums. Dragons and monsters from alternate dimensions and incisive looks at more weighty matters seem to do the trick.
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