Why Fergie, Austin Dillon and Julie Thatcher Are TV’s Social Media MVPs of the Week

The week’s most emotionally reacted-to TV personalities and characters

A pop star, a NASCAR driver and a returned sister had viewers talking passionately on social media over the past seven days.

The Wrap has partnered with Canvs, the emotion measurement company, for a weekly look at some of the characters and personalities that have TV viewers the most worked up on social media. The data below covers Feb. 14-20 and is drawn from the most emotionally reacted-to television programs, including broadcast, cable, streaming and PPV.

Instead of being about the players, much of the conversation around the 2018 NBA All-Star game, which generated 251,679 Emotional Reactions (ERs) and was broadcast on TNT, centered on Fergie, the singer who performed a notoriously controversial rendition of the National Anthem. Thousands of people took to Twitter to weigh in about the song, which Fergie performed in a jazzy, weirdly sultry manner. Reactions ranged from confusion and awkward laughter to downright anger and hate.

Fox’s broadcast of the 2018 Daytona 500 inspired 78,510 ERs, with ultimate champion Austin Dillon being the most-mentioned driver of the day. During the final lap, Aric Almirola crashed into a wall, giving Dillon the space to eek out the win. Viewer reaction was mixed, with some applauding him while others went the more negative route.

There were 18,986 ERs around the season 5 premiere of Hallmark’s hit series “When Calls the Heart,” with Julie Thatcher (portrayed by Charlotte Hegele) generating the most conversation. Julie is the sister to main character Elizabeth Thatcher, and her unexpected return in the premiere prompted much excitement among fans — although some expressed trepidation over her apparent interest in the character Jesse (Aren Buchholz).