Fringe reruns will feature cast commentary via Twitter

by Paul William Tenny

You may have heard by now that Fox is going to start showing reruns of Fringe when the show returns for its second season this fall (along with Glee), with a little something extra added for entertainment value: a live Twitter stream.

The lower third of the screen will show live tweets from "producers and actors" - presumably those who actually work on these shows as opposed to celebs and producers in general -- although no names have been floated quite yet about just who will be participating. According to the L.A. Times, they'll be commenting about the episode as it airs, and will answer questions from fans, also via Twitter.

This isn't an original idea by any means, SpikeTV has been doing this with reruns of Heroes since last year, although they've been using a proprietary chatroom (I assume connected with their network website) to accomplish the dirty deed. Reruns of COPS have also gotten the fan commentary treatment in recent times.

I doubt it'll attract very many new viewers which is undoubtedly the real goal. Providing some level of interactivity for the fans is a nice gesture, but the real point of this is to get more people to watch reruns so the show will be more profitable for the network.

This is actually great news for the talent since recent trends have seen networks slowly eliminating on-network reruns, which are expensive due to residual payments to the cast and staff, in favor of pseudo-syndication on cable channels that are also owned by the network which can be done for much cheaper, but ends up screwing the talent out of hard earned money. Naturally that has also been talk that this practice will be dropped in favor of online streaming, which the networks/studios are fighting extremely hard to not have to pay for at all.

Innovative idea (for a network) and I'd like to see more experiments like this in the future, but I have a feeling that Fox will give up on this just like they gave up on running fewer commercials for Fringe and Dollhouse this past season.
in Television


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