Fox adding Twitter to re-runs. Why?

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There's a story making the rounds about how Fox TV will be 'enhancing' reruns of a few of their shows (Fringe, Glee) by adding Twitter to them. Why? Because Twitter is apparently made from Magic Internet Dust and it enhances anything. LA Times has a story about it (in which they refer to the shows as "tweet-peats" – please let that be a term the LA Time coined, and not one Fox is actually going to use!), as does TechCrunch. There are probably others.

While the show is airing, tweets from producers and actors (and 'select tweets from fans' according to TechCrunch) will display along the bottom of the screen. Think of it as a textual commentary track.

My point isn't to bash Twitter itself; I use the service daily and get a lot out of it. I just have to question if this is the right tool for the job? If the producer of one of the shows has a poignant thought on a key scene, do u rly wnt hm 2 hav 2 phrase it lik ths in ordr 2 fit in 140 char? Granted you don't want paragraphs of text obscuring the action, but smaller networks like G4 have managed to integrate fan-based commentary for quite some time, without using Twitter, and while maintaining a watchable text/tv ratio. Again: I said fan-based. Fox is emphasizing commentary from a controlled audience, which should make the system easier to manage.

So why limit them to 140 characters per thought? I'll tell you why. It's so you can add the "Twitter" tag to the experiment, and appear to be a hip TV network in tune with the cutting edge of social media.

You can follow these events on Twitter, too. twitter.com/FRINGEonFOX for Fringe and twitter.com/GLEEonFOX for Glee. That should be interesting, like listening to an audio podcast of an art gallery visit.

The broadcasts will be this Thursday & Friday at 9 pm (Fringe and Glee respectively). I haven't seen Glee, but Fringe is well worth watching if you're a science-fantasy buff.

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