In yet another example of Twitter’s growing relationship with mainstream television (and vice versa), the screenplay for Mob City, a gangster noir TV show created by The Walking Dead‘s Frank Darabont for TNT, is being broadcast line-by-line, and tweet-by-tweet, on Twitter.
Mob City, which is set in “gritty 1940s Los Angeles”, stars Jon Bernthal (famously Shane in The Walking Dead) as Joe Teague, a Marine-turned-police officer. The first episode airs Wednesday, and you can head on over to @MobCityTNT to catch the script in its entirety, albeit in tweet-sized chunks. The “adaptweetion” started to roll out yesterday with exclusive content and will continue through to the show’s cliffhanger.
— Mob City (@MobCityTNT) December 2, 2013
“The anticipation surrounding Mob City has been building so much, we wanted to create a unique story-telling experience by sharing the first episode’s screenplay specifically adapted for Twitter,” said Tricia Melton, senior vice president of entertainment marketing and branding for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “This is a completely new and innovative way to bring show content to fans in a way that transforms a tweet into social storytelling. Through our Mob City ‘adaptweetion,’ Frank Darabont’s gripping dialogue from the script will become an artful social experience guaranteed to delight fans.”
Darabont’s departure from The Walking Dead wasn’t an entirely pleasant experience but he clearly bonded with the cast, as, Bernthal aside, Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale) and Andrew Rothenberg (Jim) will also be appearing in Mob City. Simon Pegg and the always-excellent Robert Knepper have also been cast.
This isn’t the first time a screenplay has been tweeted but it’s the first time it’s been done by a big show in advance of broadcast. It’s an interesting idea, even if Twitter’s limitations mean reading a screenplay, which can be difficult if you’re not comfortable with the format, even more of an awkward experience. Still, it’s further evidence of Twitter’s increased import in engaging television audiences.