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‘Westworld’ Premiere’s Twitter Response 545% Greater Than ‘Vinyl’s’ Debut

Westworld
John P. Johnson/HBO

The “Westworld” premiere didn’t just draw strong ratings for HBO — it also drove conversation on Twitter in a way that the cable channel’s other recent dramas have failed to do.

According to language analytics company Canvs, the “Westworld” premiere drew 545% more emotional reactions — posts in which an emotional response could be identified — on Twitter Sunday night than the average episode of the channel’s last new drama entry, “Vinyl.” It outpaced the emotional-reaction volume for the most recent season of “The Leftovers” by 326%.

That bodes well for the Lisa Joy- and Jonathan Nolan-produced science-fiction drama, which attracted 3.3 million total viewers across multiple platforms Sunday night — the best for the debut of a new HBO drama since the Season 1 premiere of “True Detective” in 2014. “Vinyl” was canceled after its first season, a big-budget period piece that struggled creatively and failed to attract a meaningful audience. “The Leftovers” — HBO’s only other current drama series besides “Westworld” and established hit “Game of Thrones” — has been a decent but unspectacular ratings performer for HBO, garnering solid reviews for its second season. Its third and final season is scheduled to premiere in 2017.

Nielsen recorded 28,636 tweets related to “Westworld” Sunday night. Of those, according to Canvs, 11,365 included emotional responses to the show. The top emotion was “love,” which accounted for 37% of all responses. Other top responses were “excited” (18.1%), “good” (14%), “crazy” (8.6%), “interesting” (8.1%), “addicted” (4.1%), and “afraid” (2.6%).

Emotional reactions spiked in the show’s final moments, with Canvs measuring 117 emotional reactions per minute in the final five minutes. “Addicted” reaction volume for “Westworld” was 768% higher than for the average primetime programming recorded by Canvs.