'The Walking Dead,' Super Bowl Reign Over TV Season on Twitter

Gene Page/AMC
'The Walking Dead'

The finale of freshman Fox drama 'Empire' was the most tweeted series episode, with 2.4 million tweets reaching an audience of 5.9 million people.

At a time when television casts are encouraged to live-tweet episodes and a series' loyal online following can help save it from cancellation, it should come as little surprise that the most popular shows of the 2014-15 season also made the biggest splash on social media. 

Twitter and Nielsen have released a review of the biggest television moment on Twitter over the last season, measuring which shows made waves on the social network from Sept. 1 through May 24.

The San Francisco-based tech firm found that NBC's broadcast of the Super Bowl was the biggest television event of the year on Twitter with a total of 16.1 million people seeing the 25.1 million tweets sent about the New England Patriots' win over the Seattle Seahawks. The second-most-popular sporting event was the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight with 11.6 million people seeing 5.8 million tweets about the Las Vegas showdown. 

The top special event from the year was the Grammys on CBS, which had a Twitter TV audience of 13.3 million people viewing 13.4 million tweets. Coming in behind the annual music award show was the Oscars (with a Twitter TV audience of 13 million), the Golden Globes (10.4 million), the American Music Awards (10.3 million) and the Billboard Music Awards (9.8 million). 

The television episode with the biggest Twitter audience was Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special. The rare Sunday SNL broadcast on NBC had an audience of 9.1 million viewing 1.3 million total tweets, making it the TV episode with the most impressions since Nielsen began measuring Twitter's audience in 2013. 

The Walking Dead takes the crown for the top series premiere of the season on Twitter with an audience of 7.4 million seeing 1.3 million tweets. Meanwhile, Empire's March 18 finale was the most tweeted TV series episode of the season with 2.4 million tweets. 

Overall, the top series on Twitter were AMC's zombie drama (with a season average Twitter TV audience of 4.3 million), ABC's The Bachelor (3.6 million), HBO's Game of Thrones (2.9 million), FX's American Horror Story: Freak Show (2.8 million) and Fox's Empire (2.6 million)

While total tweets and Twitter TV audience tell some of the story, engagement is also a key factor in determining which shows have loyal online fans. So Twitter also measured which television moments drove the most engagement.

The series with the highest average impressions per episode was The Bachelor with 32 million for each episode that aired from January to March. The Kids' Choice Awards had the highest tweets per author of any special event with an average of 17 tweets per person. Meanwhile, Univision's Nuestra Belleza Latina had 22 impressions per person, giving it the most impressions per person for a series episode. 

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