Super Bowl XLIX, 'The Walking Dead' among most-tweeted TV moments

Super Bowl XLIX, 'The Walking Dead' among most-tweeted TV moments
According to Nielsen Twitter ratings,which measure TV and Twitter activity levels, the AMC show "The Walking Dead" gathered the largest average Twitter audience this season. (Gene Page/AMC / Gene Page/AMC)

Did you tweet about the New England Patriots defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX? You're not alone.

With 25.1-million tweets sent out about the game in the U.S., the annual sporting event topped Nielsen's list of most-tweeted television moments this season.

The Nielsen report, published Monday, lists which television shows, special events and sporting events captured the most attention on Twitter from September 2014 to May 2015. The ratings giant measures tweets in the U.S. from three hours before through three hours after airing, local time.

The 57th Grammy Awards, which aired on CBS in February, was the most tweeted about televised special event. About 13.4-million tweets were sent about the awards show and about 13.3-million people saw tweets about the event.

The Oscars, televised on ABC in February, came in second on the list of most tweeted about special events. Tweets about the event were seen by an audience of 13 million people on Twitter.

Also on the list, Diane Sawyer's conversation with Olympic gold-medal winner Bruce Jenner, who has now publicly come out as Caitlyn Jenner. The special two-hour "20/20" titled "Bruce Jenner: The Interview" was the No. 6 most tweeted about televised special event. Tweets about the special were seen by an audience of 8 million people

AMC's zombie drama "The Walking Dead," which has long been considered a hit in traditional TV ratings, was the No. 1 most tweeted about show this season. An estimated 1.3-million tweets were sent about the premiere episode in October 2014, reaching 7.4-million people throughout the night.

The series also had the largest audience on Twitter throughout the fifth season, with 4.3-million people seeing tweets about each new episode on average.

Fox's freshman drama "Empire," which dominated both TV and Nielsen Social ratings, rounded out the top five, averaging 2.6-million tweets in its first season.

The show's two-part finale in March generated 2.4-million tweets in the U.S., making it the most-tweeted series episode since Nielsen Social began tracking activity in 2011. Activity peaked at 10 p.m. EST with 51,000 tweets sent in that minute alone — the most tweeted minute for any drama series this season.

"Scandal," which came in sixth, has also been one of the most talked-about shows on social media, with fans — known as "Gladiators" — sending out an average of 282,000 tweets per episode. ABC used this fervor to market producer Shonda Rhimes' other Thursday night programs — "How to Get Away With Murder" and "Grey's Anatomy" — under the "#TGIT" tagline.

The "Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special," which averaged about 23.1-million viewers in February, also generated lots of buzz (and laughs) on social media. Nielsen Social reported that a total of 9.1-million people in the U.S. saw the approximately 1.3-million tweets from more than 449,000 people in connection with the "SNL" special.  The show also delivered 188 million Twitter TV impressions, the highest of any series episode to date.

ABC's "The Bachelor," HBO's "Game of Thrones," FX's "American Horror Story," ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," NBC's "Parks and Recreation," USA Networks "WWE Monday Night Raw" and ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" also ranked in the top 10.

The overall Nielsen Social findings reflect a shift toward multi-screen viewing among audiences. People are increasingly tuning in to television programming while also using their tablets, mobile devices or computers.

Last year, Twitter issued a report that found that 85% of people tweeting during prime-time hours are talking about television shows. The social media website has about a dozen employees working directly with TV networks and talent teams in the U.S. Their main focus is to help teach people how they can increase the volume of tweets and engage fans.

"Social TV is indicative of more than just the engagement of viewers on Twitter," Nielsen said in its report. "Recent research determined that conversation on Twitter can be used as a bellwether for the engagement of general viewing audiences."

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