Monday, October 15, 2012

Twitter's effect on television series

If I told you that Twitter users had an effect on television show's scripts, would you believe me? Although it is hard to imagine, the answer is yes, they do. A limited number of shows have actually edited or added to their later episodes because of tweets posted by fans. According to Bluefin Labs, the increase in comments posted on various social media platforms has skyrocketed from 8.8 million in July 2011 to 75.5 million this past July. This is a monumental increase, indicating that television producers will have no choice but to adapt to the ever growing influence of social media.

"Covert Affairs", a USA Network drama, adapted its finale episode in order to respond to fans' somewhat romantic desire for a main character to get his eyesight back. Although the character was told he would not be eligible for surgery, producers still recorded the scene and added it into the episode even after the episode was already finalized. Many shows, including "Vampire Diaries", continue to use Twitter solely to gauge reactions and responses of their fans. However, the producers of "Vampire Diaries" were forced to respond to Twitter when they created somewhat of a blunder in one of their episodes. In the series, it is known that vampires are not to enter into a human's house unless they are given permission to do so, but in May 2011, a vampire named Katherine broke the rule. Twitter users were so adamant with their tweets that the producers of the show finally explained the phenomenon in a later episode, indicating that the house was once under the ownership of vampires. 

The reason so many television series are hesitant to respond is because only about 8 million people were responsible for the 75 million social media comments Bluefin calculated last July. This indicates that it is only coming from a small percentage of the entire population of viewers. Whether the producers decide to adapt their shows to what is being discussed on social media or not, there is no denying the influence social media has acquired in the world of television. It is a powerful tool and people are learning to utilize it successfully to get what they want.

To read the full Wall Street Journal article, click here.

Photo Taken From: Wall Street Journal

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