9/18/2012

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Next time you send a "tweet" know that it may have an affect on your favorite TV shows. Fans have always had an impact on TV shows.

Above Image: Bo Trimble and John Trimble David Gerrold with William Shatner on the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Back in the 60's Bo and John Trimble (known collectively as Bjo Trimble) organized a massive "Save Star Trek" letter-writing campaign to keep Star Trek from being canceled in it's second season. They also got the first of NASA's space shuttles named Enterprise. That's fan power.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, with the explosion of Facebook and Twitter, some shows are changing the scripts based on fan feedback.

For example, on the show Covert Affairs, there were questions if they were planning to give a blind character his eyesight. "You had a group of fans who really felt bad for him and in I think a very romantic way, wanted him to get his sight back," says Christopher Gorham, the actor who plays the blind Auggie. "We were getting a lot of questions and a lot of feedback on social media."

So, they added scenes in the final episode of the season having a doctor break the news to his character that he isn't a candidate for an experimental treatment to restore his sight.

"It's important to support viewers on Twitter." says Matt Corman, a creator and executive producer for the show. "Fans who watch the show can become grass-roots organizers for the show. In politics they say don't ignore your base."


This is the minority though. Most disagree.

Brad Falchuk, a creator and executive producer of Glee says, "Sometimes it's a lot of the same people doing some sort of 'carpet bombing.' There's a danger in taking too much from it." He should know. The show averaged more social comments than any program on TV last year.


Science-fiction and superhero fans have the biggest impact on the media today. Who knows what impact of social media could have had back in the day.

Could Twitter have saved Firefly? Would we have had another season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles thanks to Facebook? Who know. But the next time you send out a tweet or a Facebook update know that it may have an impact after all.

Just don't go crazy and drive any more showrunners like Steven Moffat off Twitter. We need them.

What affect do you think social media will have on TV in the future? Is there a show you hope would change thanks to Twitter or Facebook?
[Image Source: TrekWeb]
 
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5 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yeah, too bad we couldn't save Firefly!!

Pat Dilloway said...

It seems they've long had these campaigns to save a certain show and even if they do it only lasts maybe one season before it gets cancelled for good because in the end those geeks who write in (or now bombard Twitter) are only a small percentage of an audience.

From "Family Guy" and "Futurama" we can see what's far more effective is buying DVDs. I mean both those shows were cancelled (at least once) but returned because strong DVD sales and ratings on the reruns convinced networks they deserved another shot. The same might happen to "Arrested Development" too, though I'm more skeptical of how that will do on Netflix.

Tony Laplume said...

The format of these campaigns is always changing (sometimes it's peanuts!), but as Trimble illustrates, this has been going on for some time.

Jimmy J. Aquino said...

Good post (I didn't know that Covert Affairs finale scene was tacked on), but that's actually "Trouble with Tribbles" writer David Gerrold on Shatner's left, not John Trimble. As a kid, Gerrold's 1984 edition of his book The World of Star Trek was one of my favorite books about the making of Trek, and I remember his book contained an alternate version of that very photo of him in pajamas--um, I mean uniform--on the ST:TMP set with Shatner and Bjo Trimble. http://blobshack.blogspot.com/2010/02/world-of-star-trek.html

Maurice Mitchell said...

Thanks for the comment David. Great to hear from a Star Trek expert. Gerrold is one of my favorite writers from the TOS series so I'm sure that book is a treasure. Stop by anytime!

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