With Hawaii Five-0’s recent vote-for-the-ending show, we can see the potential for television shows to be a two-way dialogue between a show’s producers/writers and its viewers. The Wall Street Journal reinforced this idea by reporting on how certain elements of television shows were influenced by Twitter fan response.
I started thinking about one of my favorite shows, Firefly. For those of you who are not familiar, Firefly was a Joss Whedon product set in outer space, but with a western-style feel. A lot of people loved the show.
The only problem, though, was that the network did not know it at the time. Citing a lack of ratings, the network canceled the show before the entire first season even aired. But in the decade-plus aftermath of the cancellation, fan websites, documentaries, convention panels, communities, fan fiction, and more fan-based enthusiasm has thrived.
So I wonder: would the show have been cancelled had Twitter existed four years earlier? Or at least, would the show have been given a longer chance to prove itself if Twitter was around and fans had a chance to show their enthusiasm in real time?
Perhaps the ratings might never have materialized. But I would bet that Twitter would likely have demonstrated just how intensely the viewership loved the new show.
Photo credit: Wikipedia