Twitter has successfully secured its rightful place as The Social Network Everyone Talks About Television On. The micro-blogging platform is the perfect rapid-fire public forum for freaking out about Breaking Bad or commiserating over the trauma of Miley Cyrus’ VMAs performance. And the entertainment business has taken note; turn on any reality show or news program and you see hashtags and @ signs. Nielson discovered Twitter can influence TV ratings – so of course, networks are testing all sorts of weird ways to drum up Twitter interactions in hopes of more eyes on their shows.
Cable channel TNT is taking an unusual approach to promoting its new show Mob City — the network is tweeting the entire screenplay for the mafia drama’s first episode shortly before it airs.
If you follow @MobCityTNT, you’ll see the first episode’s screenplay unleashed in hundreds of 140-character tweets. They already started the screenplay tweets, and they look like this:
— Mob City (@MobCityTNT) December 2, 2013
TNT is holding back the ending to the first episode, hoping that the people following the tweeting rampage will tune in to find out what happens at the end of the 1940s-era Los Angeles crime saga’s first episode.
This is a strange choice; scrolling through the tweets is soft of overwhelming, and it will take way too long to go back to the beginning and read the whole thing. Without context, the tweets look like gibberish. Only people already jazzed about the show will take the time to look at this, so I’m not sure who TNT’s trying to reach here. Something tells me the 3,435 Twitter users following this experiment were already going to tune in. Then again, the gimmick is giving TNT free press, so I suppose it’s a savvier strategy than it appears.