Imagine, for a second, that you’re a broadcast television network in the United States, and you’re wondering what would be the best way to launch your new fall line-up at the same time as the other broadcast networks, without getting lost in the sheer volume of new and returning shows vying for people’s attention. How, exactly, could you make your shows stand out and grab the eyeballs and all-important Nielsen ratings numbers of viewers in this landscape? Why, the answer is obvious, isn’t it? It doesn’t take 140 characters to spell out the need for social media in this situation.
The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive on CBS Tweet Week 2012, during which both casts and crews of shows like The Big Bang Theory, Person of Interest and Vegas will be online during the East Coast timezone premieres of their new seasons, answering questions from fans and offering additional insight – or, at least amusing anecdotes – about the shows and their upcoming episodes. Despite the title of the promotion, this interactivity isn’t limited to Twitter, with Facebook also being used during the period.
The shows that will be included during the event will be:
- How I Met Your Mother, Partners, 2 Broke Girls, Mike and Molly and Hawaii Five-O on Monday, September 24
- NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and Vegas on Tuesday, September 25
- Survivor, Criminal Mindsand CSI on Wednesday, September 26
- Big Bang Theory, Two and A Half Man, Person of Interest and Elementary on Thursday, September 27
- CSI: NY, Made in Jersey and Blue Bloods on Friday, September 28.
That’s not the only online promotion CBS is giving its new fall line-up; a web-series called Fall Premiere Show launched this week, offering viewers “a sneak peak at each night’s line-up,” as well as interviews with those involved in making the shows and, perhaps most importantly for returning shows, recaps of what happened during previous episodes. The show is hosted by Taryn Southern, and makes a point of pushing CBS Connect – “the place where fans and stars get social,” according to Southern – which just so happens to be the department responsible for Tweet Week. Suddenly, everything falls into place.
It’s interesting to see CBS pushing social media promotion of its new shows so heavily, considering it has traditionally been seen as the oldest-skewing of all the broadcast networks with its steady diet of procedurals and “safe” comedies. The combination of this network and Twitter can either be looked at as a case of CBS trying to get in touch with a younger demographic – or, alternatively, a sign that Twitter and Facebook are now firmly mainstream enough that their own demographics are shifting upwards in age.