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Use Canvs to DETERMINE A

NBC wanted to understand how people felt about the season finale and the overall season of their new show This Is Us. By using Canvs, NBC was not only able to analyze the Emotional Reactions to the season finale specifically, but was also able to learn which characters and scenes drove which emotions.

Key findings AT A GLANCE

The This Is Us Reaction rate was 29% higher than the average among primetime series.


The season finale was the most-tweeted about non-sports TV program in the U.S. on March 14th.


Nearly 5% of the audience said that This Is Us made them cry, which is 6X more than the typical primetime broadcast series.



In order to expand the success of a particular show, networks typically look at a litany of data points to see what can be improved or changed in the show. While each set of data typically has its own value when providing valuable insights into the overall success of an episode, Canvs is the only qualitative analytics platform which can explore how audiences feel about Social TV content.

Objectives Icon


  • Provide insights that showcase the value of This Is Us through the power of emotional social TV analysis.
  • Determine how This Is Us performed compared to other primetime series.
  • Analyze not only the season finale but all the episodes within the season to determine out which emotions were expressed the most and how they trended over time.

  • Find out which characters and and cast members were the top drivers of Reactions across the  season and specifically for the finale.
  • Capture the moments and specific scenes of the show that were sparking the most emotional responses.



Within the Canvs dashboard, we analyzed the total Reaction volume, total Reaction Rate, and the core emotions that surfaced +/- 3 hours from the linear airtime window during the season finale and other airings of Season 1.

To determine how fans were feeling, what they were feeling, and when they were feeling it; we analyzed the show’s season finale and compared it to other primetime shows. We used Canvs’ Compare feature to analyze the competitive landscape around This Is Us.

Key Findings Icon


The Canvs data provided “an early, trusted read on how audiences are feeling about just-announced TV series ahead of receiving survey or focus group research.”
— Benoit Landry, senior director of program research at NBCU
  • The show’s premiere already introduced many of the emotions that would play out through the rest of the season, emotions such as love, crazy, excited, sad and cried.

  • For the period from Sept. 20, 2016 – March 15, 2017, the show’s emotional response rate was 29% higher than the average among primetime series across ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the CW, according to Canvs.

  • This Is Us’ Top Driver for the entire season was character Jack Pearson, responsible for 4.1% of all Reactions. This character had people feeling expressing a variety of emotions from the onset of the show. In the finale, Jack Pearson generated 14.4% of Reactions.
  • The season finale was the most-Tweeted episode of the show, with 105,000 Tweets posted from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET, which is 58% more than the previous episode and over 35% of those expressed some sort of emotion. Love being the top emotion, followed by crazy and excited.

The insights in this case study were originally published in Variety on March 15th, 2017.


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