How to save TV.

I figured it out.  I’m sure I’m not the first one to do so, but it finally hit me like a ton of bricks tonight.  How to save TV.

Social networking.

So I’m on Twitter, and I decide to glance at the trending topics, which get listed to the right of the tweet feed.  Nearly every trending topic is a tv show tonight.  HOUSE.  HEROES.  DWTS (Dancing with the Stars).  GOSSIP GIRL. MNF/Monday Night/Dolphins (all trending).

This isn’t new.  It’s been happening for awhile, but is just really apparent now.  If you are going to be engaged in social networks AND watch TV, you have to watch live.  Or, pretty close to it.

I found this out first hand when I DVR’d an episode of TRUE BLOOD one night, and I was on Twitter to ask about something totally unrelated.  Of course, I had to do so while TRUE BLOOD was airing, so I kept seeing tweets from people watching the show in real time.

The Emmys last night.  In some ways, almost didn’t need the show — or at least, being time delayed on the west coast, I could at least tell what parts I might want to skip through quickly due to the boredom that was coming from the tweets I was seeing at various times.

Fox, I think, has figured this out, and now reruns GLEE and FRINGE with live tweeting (from writers or actors) on Saturday nights.  I doubt it moves the needle much on either show, but it’s an intriguing idea.

So all of this to say, how do you bring people back to TV?  Through the internet, strange as that seems.  There is still a desire for collective experiences out there, and facebook or twitter help with that in a way that could only be achieved through viewing parties or at sports bars.

This…this means something.

Posted under analysis

This post was written by Shawna on September 21, 2009

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1 Comment so far

  1. John w. Bosley September 21, 2009 8:31 pm

    The Fringe episode that had the live tweets was annoying. The tweets people posted about that episode and later the next day about the episode were related to the fact that even tweeps found it annoying.

    If a show wants the audience to interact they should request for their tweeps and people on FB to join in on a live chat on the internet during the broadcast. But they shouldn’t show the live tweets on the TV screen. Not everyone who is watching the show is on Twitter or FB or any other form of SM. TO force people to watch SM updates live and take over the screen just makes people angry.
    On the other hand what TV needs is extra income to offset the fact that they are loosing ad money for their TV time. To bring people to a fan site where there is more ads paid for but are less intrusive would help them recoup their losses.

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