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‘Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’: The Viewer Emotions Behind the VH1 Hit

Rocky relationships. Bumpin’ beats. A major metropolitan city. These are some of the key ingredients VH1 has combined in serving up its reality TV hit Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, which just wrapped up its sixth season. Its 18 episodes, including a two-part reunion special, had fans glued to their TV (and device) screens as temperatures rose on screen and off.

TVREV worked with Canvs, the emotion analytics company, to figure out what keeps viewers tuning in.

According to Canvs, there were a grand total of 473,290 Emotional Reactions (ERs) for LHHATL on Twitter during the season (March 6 through July 17), making it the third most emotionally reacted-to non-sports/news series during that period.

Although love was the most-often expressed emotion (appearing in 13.8% of ERs), humor was a close second with 13.1% of ERs; it’s no secret that many people tune into LHHATL for the accidentally hilarious (and often cringe-worthy) antics of cast members. Crazy (9.4%) and dislike (8.9%) followed on the emotional scale; negative viewer emotions in the reality TV genre are generally net positives — people simply love to hate-watch these types of shows.

This season Kirk was the cast member viewers were most worked up about; he appeared in 13.5% of all ERs, followed by Rasheeda (11.2%) and Joseline (8.9%). Drama swirled around Kirk and his (let’s just call them extracurricular) marital activities/paternity allegations, but fans were generally more kind toward his wife Rasheeda, with many commenting about her beauty. Viewer emotion also heated up around Joseline toward the end of the season because of her multiple explosive outbursts and eventual declaration that she’s leaving the series.


So far, the jury is still out on if VH1 will order a seventh season, but if it does you can bet the fans will be back too.