Why Brad Stevens, Justify and Donald Glover Are TV’s Social Media MVPs of the Week

Boston Celtics coach, the Kentucky Derby winner and Childish Gambino had viewers talking passionately on social media

Mike Smith Justify Kentucky Derby

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

The Boston Celtics coach, the Kentucky Derby winner and Childish Gambino 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 May 2-8 and is drawn from the most emotionally reacted-to television programs, including broadcast, cable, streaming and PPV.

Although we most often see players as the biggest conversation drivers during NBA games, this time it was a coach who made waves. During game 3 of the Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers, which was broadcast on ESPN and generated 80,746 Emotional Reactions (ERs), Celtics coach Brad Stevens caught viewers’ attention with several smart time-out calls that helped his team triumph over Philly. Fans showered him with praise and didn’t hesitate to call him a genius.


NBC’s broadcast of the 144th Kentucky Derby resulted in 40,835 ERs and, unsurprisingly, its champion Justify was the most-mentioned horse of the day. Before Saturday, he had only competed in three races and some had wondered if he had what it takes. In a word: yes. They tapped out congratulatory messages as he emerged victorious, with some viewers also tipping their fancy hats to his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith.

The most recent episode of “Saturday Night Live” on NBC (36,159 ERs) had Donald Glover as the host and musical guest (performing as Childish Gambino), and predictably he drove a ton of conversation. Viewers expressed undying love for the actor/musician, commenting on everything from his creative genius to his (attractive) looks. It’s worth noting that while Glover performed his new song “This Is America” on “SNL,” the explosive music video for that track was also posted on YouTube — as has since prompted an avalanche of discussion.