Wednesday, December 12, 2012
My Kim Basinger metaphor
Why do I bring this up? Because for broadcast networks Twitter is Kim Basinger. And Facebook is her tipsy twin.
ABCNBCCBSFOX has clearly embraced social networks. They desperately need young viewers and that’s what those damn kids are preoccupied with. There are hash tags in front of show titles in the bottom of the screen, interactive online games, fan pages, and discussion groups.
And they’ve discovered social networks can be used to promote their shows for free! Series stars have Twitter accounts and are followed by millions. Even the showrunners have large numbers of followers. And the great thing is, you’re reaching the people who like your show… and I don’t just mean clicking “like”. So they’re inclined to turn on your show when reminded.
Contrast that with NBC that runs banners for WHITNEY on practically every single show all week and the numbers are still shit. America has voted, peacock!
So these are some good things. There are also mixed things. Fans Tweet observations while your show is airing. This is unprecedented. And frightening. Your show is being judged second by second. And basically, what the whole world can now read is merely all the snarky shit you used to just say in your living or dorm room. Much of this input is hurtful.
Now writers read these Tweets and generally just chalk them up to being written by fucking idiots who still collect string. But actors read them as well. And some of them take the comments very personally. Especially the “he’s fat, she’s ugly, her tits are tiny, and you suck” observations. Can you blame them? And here’s the thing: there will be haters for everybody. I’m sure the babies on GUYS WITH KIDS get ripped weekly.
These rants put the network in an awkward position. In the case of Harmon, he was fired (although his cyber soapbox was only one of their many complaints I’m sure). And CBS can’t fire Krumholtz because they already did. But the next time he’s up for a part, the producers, studios, and/or network could think: “loose cannon. Not worth the risk.” And for what? The satisfaction of telling 99.99% of America to eat a dick? Hardly what the Man of La Mancha would call a noble quest.
Stars speaking out is not new. But there were always publicists and handlers and toadies to muzzle them. Now the only way to silence a celebrity is to tape up his or her thumbs. (Can you imagine if Bette Davis was on Twitter? Strap yourself in for a bumpy ride!)
I don’t know how the Bind Date will eventually play itself out. Hopefully Kim Basinger can be cut off before she meets the folks. But the potential upside is so high, she is so gorgeous, that it’s worth everything just to put another # on your bed post.