A Close Look at Viewer Emotions and Tune-In Patterns for AMC's 'The Walking Dead'

After a months-long hiatus, AMC's hit series The Walking Dead returned to TV Sunday night with an episode that centered around the death of Carl Grimes (portrayed by Chandler Riggs). B&C partnered with Canvs, the emotion measurement company, and Inscape, the TV measurement company with glass-level data from a panel of more than 7.7 million smart TVs and devices, to take a look at viewer trends around this blockbuster show.

Since the season premiere on Oct. 22, there have been a whopping 382,282 Emotional Reactions (ERs) on Twitter around its episodes, with Sunday’s midseason premiere and special bonus episode generating 126,927 ERs.

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Love was the most-often expressed emotion during Sunday’s episode, occurring in 14.6% of ERs. But it’s also worth noting that the storyline, which was filled with tearful goodbyes and Carl’s eventual death, seemed to take its toll on viewers, who talked about crying 14.6% of the time and sadness 13.3%.

Not only was Carl the most-mentioned character during the most recent episode, he tops the list of topics fans have discussed the most all season, followed by Rick and Negan.

A look at viewership trends courtesy of Inscape reveals that aside from decent live viewership, The Walking Dead is a watch-later favorite, with DVR/OTT viewership at relatively high levels. This is interesting considering that many die-hard fans prefer to watch their favorite shows live to avoid spoilers.

Topping the list of other shows TWD-viewing households are likely to watch: HBO’s Game of Thrones and several MTV shows including Ridiculousness, Teen Mom 2 and Teen Mom OG.