Comedy Central is testing it out with @midnight, a late-night game show featuring comedians facing off to come up with the best phrases to describe different social media subjects.
Fans are also integrated into the show with #HashtagWars, where fans join the show’s comedians in coming up with their best one-liners for fake hash-tags. The best ones are later announced on the show.
Digiday spoke with two Comedy Central executives about doing a social media show, and whether it would have been possible, even a year ago.
“No. It would have had to have been a very different show a couple of years ago,” Steve Grimes, SVP of multiplatform programming and strategy said. “Just the mainstream acceptance, not just of Twitter and Facebook, but things like reddit and etsy and other things that even six months ago may have not been enough in the zeitgeist.”
Although social is having a huge impact on traditional TV, Grimes sees its limits:
It’s already having a huge an impact across TV, but is it the future of TV — I wouldn’t go that far. In one way or another, social is an integral part of everything we do now. If anything, I would say social is the future of looking at how a franchise can live while it’s not on air. Between when the show ended in November and just came back in January, we had a whole schedule of games through social; we really tried to replicate the tenor of the show online. It was very interesting and very successful — we added more than 20 percent of our Twitter followers when the show wasn’t on air.