‘This Is Us’ Is NBC’s Top New Show in Viewer Emotional Response

Canvs data: 11.4% of Emotional Reactions across NBC sparked by rookie dramedy over the past two weeks

Among the fall TV shows premiering this month, This Is Us is among the few that have already pulled away from the pack. After a strong ratings start, NBC has greenlit five additional episodes of the Dan Fogelman dramedy, bringing its first season order up to 18 episodes.

Canvs, the language analytics company, took a look at social media response to NBC programming over the past two weeks (Sept. 16-29) to uncover what’s been driving the most emotional response from viewers. Fan favorite The Voice accounted for 32% of the 309,687 Emotional Reactions (ERs) sparked by NBC programming — no surprise, since competition shows (and reality TV) tend to dominate social media response — followed by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (19.3%).

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This Is Us is in third place behind those established network series, but in first place among new NBC shows, having generated 11.4% of all NBC ERs across the two-week period. In other words, roughly 1 in 10 ERs about NBC shows were inspired by the new dramedy.

The opening episode on Sept. 20 generated 23,021 ERs, with 53.3% of all tweets about This Is Us expressing some sort of emotion. The top emotions were good (14.7%), excited (12.3%), crazy (6.2%) and beautiful (4.3%), with love dominating at 48.4%.

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Although the second episode registered fewer (12,367) ERs — which pretty much always happens in the episodes following a premiere — those in the love category actually saw a slight increase (to 49.5%), giving the show a 162% higher-than-average love reaction volume when compared to other NBC programming.

For additional context, we also looked at another high-profile addition to the NBC fall lineup: The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, which kicked off its first season with a back-to-back two-episode premiere on Sept. 19. The opening night sparked 4,166 ERs, with love ERs leading the way (42.0%). Keep in mind that 30-minute sitcoms are generally at a disadvantage to hour-long dramas because they offer viewers half the window for real-time social media response — though, the back-to-back premiere-night episodes temporarily changed that equation.

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Although The Good Place dipped in the ratings after the season premiere, and episodes 3 and 4 only sparked 2,023 ERs combined, the love expressed for both airings grew to 44.8% of total ERs. Over the past two weeks, the sitcom has sparked 1.8% of all ERs by NBC series, making it the second most emotionally reacted-to new show on the network.