‘Walking Dead’ Premiere Drove 77% of All ‘Crying’ About TV on Twitter Sunday

Maggie Greene
Courtesy of AMC

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the Season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead,” titled “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be.”

The season premiere of “The Walking Dead” didn’t just have an excess of blood. There were also tears — many tears.

Season 7’s debut drew 77% of all “cried” responses on Twitter to television programming Sunday night, according to language analytics firm Canvs. The company also found that “The Walking Dead” drove 43.9% of all “upset” emotional reactions across all television on Twitter for the evening.

Canvs analyzed 1,689,584 “The Walking Dead”-related tweets captured by Nielsen and found that 34.2% — hailing from 277,848 unique users — expressed some sort of emotion. Out of 577,551 emotional reactions, the top sentiments measured were “love” (23.1%), “crazy” (22.2%), “dislike” (14.4%), “hate” (11.1%), “excited” (10.9%), “sad” (7.8%), “upset” (7.1%), and “cried” (3.6%).

“Cried” is not a response that usually rates so highly in Canvs’ analysis of Twitter sentiment for television shows.

Sunday night’s premiere featured the deaths of two major characters — Michael Cudlitz’s Abraham and Steven Yeun’s Glenn — following a season-six cliffhanger finale that promised one of the show’s core characters would die at the hands of new villain Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The episode was responsible for 32.5% of all emotional responses on Twitter across all television. The volume of emotional responses was more than three times greater than that of the average season-six episode. Emotional responses — particularly “cried” and “upset” — spiked toward the middle of the show, when Glenn was killed.

Actor Michael Cudlitz answers fan questions following shocking episode (Watch):