Thirteen Seasons in, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Is ABC’s Social Media Powerhouse

Medical drama drives 33.3% of the network’s primetime series Emotional Responses during a two-week measurement window

ABC was No. 2 in the last Thursday prime and No. 1 a week earlier — and in both cases Grey’s Anatomy did the heavy lifting. Now in its 13th season, the medical drama continues to be a ratings winner for ABC and a social media powerhouse as well.

Canvs, the language analytics company, took a look at social media response to ABC programming over a two-week period (Sept. 23-Oct. 6) to uncover what’s been driving the most emotional response from viewers. Grey’s Anatomy came out on top, accounting for a remarkable 33.3% of the 341,943 Emotional Reactions (ERs) sparked by primetime ABC series. To put that in context, right behind Grey’s were two other returning ABC shows, How to Get Away With Murder (which also aired two episodes during our two-week window) and Dancing With the Stars (which aired four episodes over that time); they accounted for 18.6% and 15.8%, respectively, of primetime series ERs over the same two-week period.

Rookie show Designated Survivor is doing well enough to have been picked up for a full season, but it has a ways to go to catch up to the social media footprint of its more established sister shows on ABC. Over the two episodes it aired during our two-week measurement period, it generated 2.3% of all ERs sparked by ABC’s primetime series.

The Designated Survivor episode titled “The First Day,” which aired on Sept. 28, sparked 4,349 ERs; the top emotions: good (20.3%), excited (8.2%), and crazy (7.0%), with love dominating at 43.6%.

The episode titled “The Confession” that aired on Oct. 5 prompted 3,501 ERs.

Another new ABC show, Notorious, generated 1.9% of primetime series ERs on the network. Combined, the two episodes that aired during our two-week measurement window generated 3,155 ERs. The top ERs were love (40.6%), good (19.2%), excited (15.7%) and crazy (6.6%). Canvs also detected a critical mass of beautiful ERs (5.1%), which were mostly directed at the attractive cast of the show.