State of the Union Future of TV Friend

The biggest social TV busts from the past week: Republican debate fails to make splash on social


By Natan Edelsburg, SVP

January 18, 2016 | 5 min read

It's awards season, the time of year when TV networks plan major spectactles with the hope that social media users chime in. Union Metrics' editor-in-chief Jenn Deering explains how the Republican debate howeever was the biggest bust of the week, among the Globes, State of the Union and announcement of a Friends reunion.

​​Summary of the top moments from the past week:

  • Last week brought us three big TV events, with varying levels of glamour and ego. The 73rd Golden Globes aired on NBC on Sunday, January 10. On Tuesday, January 12, President Obama gave his last State of the Union address. And then on Thursday, January 14, the Republican Presidential candidates came together for the year's first debate on Fox Business.
  • And in other news, NBC announced last week that it would be airing a two-hour special Friends reunion in February. Yes, that Friends. Friends' final episode aired on NBC in 2004, so it's hard to say what kind of an audience it still has. But, as we've all seen, reboots are all the rage right now. So why not cash in?
  • Speaking of reboots, The X-Files is coming back to television after a 14 year long hiatus on January 24. This week, Fox released a brand new trailer with some crazy UFO footage. Did it set Twitter ablaze?

How did each do on Twitter?

  • The Golden Globes got nearly 3.5 million tweets on Sunday. The State of the Union earned more than 2.0 million tweets on Tuesday. The GOP debate saw about 1.1 million tweets on Thursday. The Golden Globes was up considerably over last year, which saw 2.1 million tweets. The State of the Union was also up over last year, which came in at 1.7 million tweets. The GOP debate, however, was down quite a bit from previous debates, earning 35% fewer tweets this time than in December.
  • The Friends reunion generated 114k tweets on the day it was announced. For a show that's been off the air for more than a decade, it still holds a lot of sway on social media. More than a hundred thousand tweets in a single day? Most current primetime shows would kill for those numbers. If that tells us anything about the audience for the reunion, it should do quite well.
  • Normal X-Files conversation doubled on Twitter the day the teaser was released. The show is regularly earning around 10,000 tweets per day, as fans get excited for the premiere. Daily tweets about the show have increased from about 3k per day in early November, so excitement is definitely building. Given that, I would have expected more from this trailer. But releasing the trailer on a Friday might have resulted in less interest than a mid-week release.
  • So our biggest bust this week? That award goes to the latest Republican debate. This was the final debate before the Iowa caucuses, but it just didn't make that big a splash on social media. We still have a long way to go before November 8, and Twitter is showing signs of fatigue in this presidential race.

Jenn Deering Davis is Editor-in-Chief of the San Francisco-based social analytics company Union Metrics. She has 15 years of industry and academic experience in organizational communications, social media and research, spending her career turning turning data into effective stories and helping stakeholders more easily understand new technologies. Union Metrics has been delivering social media answers to brands and marketers since the company launched TweetReach in 2009. Today, Union Metrics’ multi-channel social analytics are used by thousands of digital marketers at the world’s most innovative brands to optimize social media strategies and create impactful campaigns across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. Visit Union Metrics at and @unionmetrics to learn more.

You can access the Future of TV hub here. Sign up to receive The Drum's Future of TV newsletter.

State of the Union Future of TV Friend

More from State of the Union

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +