Why Kylian Mbappé, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Joey Chestnut Are TV’s Social Media MVPs of the Week

A French soccer player, a NASCAR driver and a competitive eater had viewers talking passionately on social media

Check out the week’s most emotionally reacted-to TV personalities and characters.

A French soccer player, a NASCAR driver and a competitive eater had viewers talking passionately on social media over the past seven days.

The Wrap has partnered with Canvs, the emotion measurement AI 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 4-10 and is drawn from the most emotionally reacted-to television programs, including broadcast, cable, streaming and PPV.

The World Cup continues to be a big driver of emotional conversation, and this time around it was Kylian Mbappé sparking viewer comments during the France vs. Belgium match that was broadcast on Fox and Telemundo and generated 52,804 Emotional Reactions (ERs). The 19-year-old French forward has scored three goals in the tournament, and although France’s sole (and game-winning) goal was by Samuel Umtiti, people were talking about Mbappé’s mad skills in droves.




NBC’s broadcast of the Monster Energy Cup Series: Coke Zero Sugar 400 generated 24,290 ERs, and even though Erik Jones ultimately won, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove more conversation — and much of it was negative. The driver sparked viewer anger during the race when, during lap 55, he caused a 25-car crash and then later triggered more incidents. When he got into a crash himself, people were more than amused, some citing karma (Stenhouse finished the race at 17th).




ESPN’s broadcast of the 2018 Hot Dog Eating Contest prompted 16,378 ERs, with Joey Chestnut snagging the win (his third in a row and 11th in the last 12 years) with a world-record 74 hot dogs consumed. Viewers cheered him on with a mix of witty remarks and sheer amazement (although of course there was some snark thrown in).