How did ‘Empire’ fans react to the show’s return on Twitter?

The Lyon family is back and fans couldn’t stop roaring about the second season’s first episode on Twitter.

The Season 2 debut of Fox’s hit show “Empire” sparked about 1.3 million tweets, according to early Nielsen Twitter TV ratings. Such high Twitter chatter comes as no shock given the show’s popularity on social media. Last year, the show surged in ratings every week and surpassed the live-tweet average of ABC’s #TGIT Shonda Rhimes show “Scandal.”

Created by Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels and Emmy Award-winner Danny Strong, “Empire” follows music tycoon Luscious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and the fight among his three sons -- Jamal (Jussie Smollett), Andre (Trai Byers) and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) -- and mom Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) to control the business.

Of the tweets, 310,828 -- almost 24% -- contained “reactions,” or tweets with emotions, according to Canvs, a social TV platform. The company uses relevant tweets, provided by Nielsen, to gauge what emotions people have about TV. The tweets are then broken down into reactions.


About 21.4%, or about 66,466 tweets, were reactions of love, much of that geared toward Henson’s character Cookie and the show as a whole.

#Empire was amazing as usual¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ This season is gong to slay #EmpireSeason2— Kelsey Nicole (@_UmKelsey) September 24, 2015

Cookie is ghetto-fabulous and it’s perfect #EmpireFOX— Thotimus Prime (@MrSoLo_DoLo919) September 24, 2015

I just got chills down my back. @TherealTaraji does it again. Amazing acting, my god. #EmpireSeason2 #thebest— Marie Sunyes (@Brunettecutie1) September 24, 2015


Loved #Empire Tonight...Never disappoints ¿¿¿¿— Asia (@LovingMe_15) September 24, 2015

Even celebrities were buzzing.

Tonight is the premiere of @EmpireFOX so make sure to watch @SerayahLove @TherealTaraji & the rest of the amazing cast!¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ #EmpireSeason2— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) September 23, 2015

Why you look like Mr.T??? #EmpireSeason2 best line of the night— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) September 24, 2015


RT if you’re breaking the Yom Kippur fast while watching #Empire tonight...— Larry King (@kingsthings) September 24, 2015

The hashtag "#empire,” which Twitter created a customized Emoji for, was used in about 51% of reaction tweets. Other popular hashtags included "#empireseason2,” "#empirefox” and "#freelucious.”

Comedian Chris Rock, who guest starred on the Season 2 debut as Lucious’ prison-mate Frank Gathers, was mentioned in 11.7% of the reaction tweets.

I don’t know if I should laugh or if I should be intimidated by Chris Rock #EmpireSeason2— Shai Jackson (@ShaiJack144) September 24, 2015


Chris Rock playing this role way to damn well! #EmpireSeason2— X (@AllTimeIsaac) September 24, 2015

Chris Rock is the gangsta everyone is afraid of?! ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿— Deli. (@delirowe) September 24, 2015

Another popular moment from the show, where in Ankita (Grace Gealey) starts dancing with Mimi (played by guest star Marisa Tomei), caused this image to go viral. It was the most tweeted minute of the show, with about 32,363 tweets following Ankita’s dancing.

Anita arched that back like #EmpireSeason2— m¿l¿n ¿ (@meemurz) September 24, 2015


Anita dance with her ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ #BooBooKitty #EmpireSeason2— Ant (@AntWheels) September 24, 2015

Here was the real moment

Twerk Boo Boo Kitty #EmpireSeason2— Tha Celebritea (@thacelebritea) September 24, 2015

About 16% of users expressed excitement throughout their live tweeting. An estimated 15% of Twitter reactions found the launch funny and 11.6% found it crazy.


The show earned a 6.5/20 rating, up 71% from last season’s premiere in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to Nielsen ratings. The return of the show garnered 16 million viewers overall.

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