Skip to main content

‘SNL’ Stirs Up Major Viewer Emotions for NBC

Upfronts are only a few weeks away, when the mass unveiling of the latest TV shows will generate endless chatter. And with recent hits like The New Edition Story, TV lovers are at the edge of their seats, wondering what will come next. But sometimes nothing can compare to a classic.

B&C worked with Canvs, the emotion analytics company, to see what's been driving the most emotion in viewers, and it turns out a 42-year-old pioneer is leading the way for TV series in February.

Overall, NBC has generated the most emotional response when it comes to TV series, accounting for 16.5% of Emotional Reactions (ERs) across networks. Saturday Night Live, the sketch comedy show that premiered in 1975, helped propel NBC to glory, prompting more than half (8.8%) of that ER total. The Feb. 4 episode featuring Kristen Stewart as guest host took the top spot for the most emotionally resonant airing (2.2% of ERs) so far this month.

Related: NBC's Lauer to Interview Bush on 'Portraits of Courage'

The top emotion during the broadcast was love, accounting for 39.6% of ERs, with special guest Melissa McCarthy driving more than 29% of those love ERs for her impersonation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

I love Melissa McCarthy #SNL

— Toni L. Glover (@tgloverGNP) February 5, 2017

She does a perfect spicer #SNL

— OG (@mamajo76) February 5, 2017

There were also more than 1,600 ERs that expressed “brilliant” (or similar terms) throughout the episode, and Melissa McCarthy was mentioned in nearly 25% of them.

Melissa McCarthy. SNL Genius.

— Anne Tabor (@tabortime) February 5, 2017

SNL. Melissa McCarthy. Brilliant.

— Marc Kudisch (@MarcKuds) February 5, 2017

Beyond SNL

The other shows giving NBC emotional resonance so far this month? Both Today and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon helped drive the feels, each sparking an additional 1.3% of ERs on the network.

The top emotions from viewers in February so far around Today were love (31.1%) and enjoy (9.6%).

@NBCNews@TODAYshow Love it!

— Wanda M. Martin (@deadwm) February 14, 2017

The top emotions sparked by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon were happy (25.6%), love (25%) and enjoy (10.2%).

I love the Jimmy Fallon show

— Andrew Wright (@awright1513) February 11, 2017