‘Fifty Shades of Great’: HBO’s ‘Veep’ returns to strong results

Sunday’s season premiere of Veep drove the series’ second-most total reactions, trailing only its debut episode way back in April of 2012. Out of 3,562 emotional Tweets (and 8,176 total Tweets per Nielsen Social), more than 32% fell into the love category, driven by words like “best,” “great,” “favorite,” and “amazing.” Veep's series premiere drove 3,580 reactions nearly three years ago.

What moments during the night drove emotional spikes in conversation? We used Canvs to take a deeper look into the season premiere of Veep.

 Early Excitement

Excited reactions spiked early in “Joint Session,” as fans Tweeted about looking forward to the new episode. During the first five minutes of the episode, more than 45% of all emotional Tweets fell into the excited category.

Though we typically observe these spikes ahead of highly-anticipated premieres and finales, the overall share of excited reactions was nearly 7 times higher than the overall Veep average.

Attention-Grabbing Performance

Comedian Patton Oswalt made a special appearance in the episode, serving as a “handsy” deputy to the new Vice President of the United States. More than 10% of all Tweets during the night mentioned Oswalt (one-third of which fell into the appropriately-named funny, idiot category).

Crazy reactions spiked between 10:35 and 10:45 p.m. ET, as fans – and Oswalt himself! – were Tweeting their surprise and “holy crap” reactions about his role in the episode.

Fifty Shades of Great

Love reactions were highest (35%) between 10:50 and 10:55 p.m. ET, as fans enjoyed the scene where Selina's staff tried to put the finishing touches on her speech to Congress.

Funny reactions were also highest during the final 10 minutes of airtime, accounting for 22% of the emotional conversation, capturing the hilarity of mishaps with the teleprompter and the staff’s frantic attempts to save face.

Overall, the total number of funny reactions during the episode was 3.6 times higher than the Veep average, which is great news for a show that always flexes its comedic muscle.


So, what does the future (…whatever) hold for “Veep?”

HBO announced its renewal for a fifth season less than a day after the premiere episode aired, ensuring more hilarity for fans of President Selina Meyer and her ragtag group of staffers into the heart of the 2016 campaign. This land is her land, indeed.


Tweet Source: Nielsen. Relevant Tweets captured from three hours before, during, and three hours after an episode’s initial broadcast, local time.