The American Theatre Wing’s 69th Annual Tony Awards aired last Sunday on CBS. Hosted by Broadway legends Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming, the event attracted 6.3 million viewers. We used Canvs to take an in-depth look into the 322,804 Tweets posted throughout the show, 141,345 of which contained emotional reactions. Even if ratings were down, the Twitter audience enjoyed the telecast: love (51%), good(17%), and excited (8%) comprised most of the reactions about the broadcast.
Most Tweets mentioning this year’s hosts, Tony winners Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming, happened in the beginning of the broadcast and dissipated throughout the duration. The duo was mentioned in only 3% of emotional Twitter conversation throughout the show, however most reactions expressed favorable reactions including love (61%), good (11%), and beautiful (9%). For the opening, Chenoweth and Cumming performed a musical compilation comprised of songs from their famous performances in Wicked and Cabaret. The first five minutes of the show drove an emotional spike, making up almost 10% of the Twitter reactions about the hosts, as fans commented on how talented Chenoweth and Cumming were.
Individually, the hosts received strikingly similar reactions on Twitter. Both garnered 59% love, 13% good, 5% excited, and 7% hate. Spikes in emotional conversation mentioning the hosts also happened at 8:35 PM when Cumming came out in a dress and Chenoweth in a uniform from The King and I and at 9:35 PM during Chenoweth’s performance with the cast of On the Twentieth Century. These were spikes were driven by love and good reactions.
Best in Show
We used Canvs to identify the specific moments and performances that garnered the strongest audience reactions. Best musical winner, Fun Home stole the show. Conversation mentioning Fun Home or its actors made up 16% of all emotional Twitter conversation about the Tonys. Fun Home reactions were overwhelmingly complimentary, with 27% expressing love and 65% expressing good.
The cast’s performance of “Ring of Keys” at 9:10 PM drove a spike in reactions on Twitter, mostly dominated by reactions expressing how good the performance was. Many reactions cited the amazing talent shown by the young actress, Sydney Lucas. Individually, Lucas was mentioned in 2,047 emotional Tweets during the show, mainly in the twenty minutes during and after her performance.
At 10:55 PM, fans took to Twitter again to express their feelings about Fun Home winning best musical of the year. Love (42%) and good (37%) made up the majority of reactions to the announcement.
Mentions solely including Fun Home, its official handle, and its official hashtag (#funhome), made up 13% of all reactions to the Tonys, 71% of which said something about it was good. Fans were impressed with the show’s five Tony wins including best musical, best original score, best leading actor in a musical, best book of a musical, and best direction of a musical.
And the Tony (Finally) Goes to…
Another hot topic during the Tonys this year was Kelli O’Hara’s win for best leading actress in a musical after six previous Tony losses. O’Hara was mentioned in 4% of Tweets over the duration of the show. Fans were excited that she finally won the award and 50% of Tweets between 10:45 and 10:50 PM expressed love for the actress, her work, and her acceptance speech, specifically her tap dance off the stage.
O’Hara drove the most emotional Twitter conversation, closely followed by Dame Helen Mirren, who inspired 3,024 Twitter reactions. Michael Cerveris and Alex Sharp, who won for best leading actor in a musical and best leading actor in a play, respectively, only drove about 1% of the show’s total number of Twitter reactions. Although she did not win the Tony for best featured actress in a musical, 11 year-old Sydney Lucas still drove over 2,000 Tweets in reaction to her rendition of “Ring of Keys.”
Despite a 19% decrease in emotional Tweets from the 68th to the 69th Annual Tony Awards, viewers had plenty of feelings about this year’s show. Fun Home was clearly the social media darling of the 69th Annual Tony Awards, encouraging not only audience Twitter engagement, but emotional audience Twitter engagement.
For more Tony Award analysis check out the graphic below, which originally appeared on Lost Remote.
Tweet Source: Nielsen. Relevant Tweets captured from three hours before, during, and three hours after an episode’s initial broadcast, local time.