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Why Jordan Spieth, Lawrence Walker and Michael Phelps Are TV’s Social Media MVPs of the Week

A pro golfer, an ex-boyfriend and an Olympic swimmer had viewers talking passionately on social media over the past week.

The Wrap has partnered with Canvs, the emotion analytics 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 July 19-25 and is drawn from the most emotionally reacted-to television shows, including broadcast, cable, streaming and PPV.

On Sunday, American golfer Jordan Spieth was crowned champion of the 2017 British Open, which garnered 46,816 Emotional Reactions (ERs) and aired on NBC and Golf Channel as well as being simulcast online. Congratulatory messages poured in for the young athlete (he turns 24 on Thursday) who pulled off the win after an uncertain morning competing against Matt Kuchar. In the coming weeks, Spieth will head to the PGA Championship for a shot at becoming the youngest golfer ever to win a career slam.

In the opening scene of HBO’s “Insecure” (38,433 ERs), Issa Dee (portrayed by series creator and star Issa Rae) sits across from former boyfriend Lawrence Walker (Jay Ellis), having what appears to be a romantic dinner. But viewers are suddenly thrust back into reality when it turns out that Issa is on a first date with a different guy, and is merely daydreaming about her ex — who ends up being the most discussed character thanks to viewers’ differing opinions on the fellow and his, uh, controversial actions at the very end of the premiere. While some viewers are pro-Lawrence (and can’t shut up about his good looks), others think he’s a dirtbag.

Shark Week on Discovery kicked off with a special featuring Michael Phelps called “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White” (24,919 ERs), which promised a race between the Olympic swimmer and various types of sharks. While the show was jampacked with interesting tidbits about shark swimming speeds and related science, more than a few viewers were disappointed to realize that no, Phelps would not be competing with actual sharks. Instead, sharks were superimposed via CGI as Phelps swam. Spoiler: Despite a close race, the (simulated) great white beat him by mere seconds.

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