The new Fall TV season is in full swing and my DVR is already 88% full. The one in the living room that is. The one in the bedroom is a healthy 56% full. Did I mention that I am a TV junkie. It’s crazy, I know. Sigh.
Anyway, we recently brought you a case study on Online Fandom which talks a lot about targeting your audience. Now it’s time to talk a little bit about how we, the coveted viewer, are experiencing our shows and how our influence is helping to shape the direction of network and cable programming.
With every day life (like work, friends, family and you know all the important stuff) throwing one missed TV show obstacle at us at every opportunity, how does one make time to catch up on our favorite shows or see the new shows that have all the buzz of the new season? Hello TiVo and Hulu!
Big fan of the technology and can’t imagine life pre-DVR or pre-Hulu, even though it was only a few years ago. The advent and mainstream acceptance of this glorious technology along with the growth of message boards, fan pages and the marketing efforts by all the networks, has Americans more engaged in the viewing experience than ever before.
Think about it for a moment, how fanatical (and influential) the fans of Heroes and Lost are. I highlight these two shows in particular because the fans are so committed to the characters and story lines that even a small revolt can send waves through a production office.
A great example of the power of fan involvement; a few years back fans of the (now canceled) CBS show ‘Jericho’ were up in arms that their favorite show was pre-maturely canceled. They created an email and message board campaign as well as a how-to guide to urge CBS President, Les Moonves, to return their beloved show for an appropriate conclusion. The campaign included legions of fans sending, of all things, peanuts to CBS and Mr. Moonves’ office pleading to save their show. Their plight was galvanized online and provoked a strong call to action, resulting in saving the show for another season. Not to mention CBS gaining 20 tons of peanuts in the process. Power to the fans!
As a result of all these online tools that empower the fan, networks, producers and the show’s stars have picked up on the value of such fan involvement and have begun to truly embrace the relationship. So much so that these key players are going beyond attending the likes of Comic-Con and appearing on talk shows; they are actually participating in fan sites, message boards and networking groups.
The power of the fan has become more prevalent thanks to and because of the Internet and all the resources it contains At the end of the day, loyal viewers have established an outlet to significantly make a difference. And a difference we can make.
… we now return you to our regularly schedule programming.