Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Nielsen conducted its first social media ratings study that includes data from Twitter and Facebook to find which shows got the most social media attention. The top picks were obvious choices like the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards (besting the Oscars) and surprises like "The Walking Dead."Why it matters: Ratings ≠ social engagement. TV measurement is going to have to change to account for the role digital plays in television consumption and expanding television's reach to different audiences, instead of totally eating it. "The Walking Dead," for example, was by far the most viral TV show on social media, but was only the 8th most watched show on live television over the last TV season. Similarly, some of the most watched shows in primetime, like NCIS, (which ranked third in ratings), didn't crack the top 10 for social engagement.

Entertainment:

  1. The Walking Dead (AMC): 2,028,000 total interactions
  2. Empire (FOX): 860,000
  3. The Bachelor (ABC): 453,000
  4. This is Us (NBC): 436,000
  5. Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (VH1): 406,000

Specials:

  1. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS): 27,600,000 total interactions
  2. The Oscars (ABC): 22,086,000
  3. Golden Globe Awards (NBC): 10,100,000
  4. Billboard Music Awards (ABC): 5,346,000
  5. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (ABC): 3,575,000

Sports:

  1. Super Bowl LI: New England vs.Atlanta (2/5): 190,780,000 total interactions
  2. NFL: Green Bay at Dallas (1/15): 52,878,000
  3. NFL: Green Bay Packers at AtlantaFalcons (1/22): 26,431,000
  4. NFL: Pittsburgh at New England (1/22): 24,349,000
  5. MLB: Los Angeles at Chicago Cubs (10/22): 21,520,000

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

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Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.

The hazy line between politics and influence campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.