It’s not an obvious leap to take a Twitter account and turn it into a sitcom, but it has been done… and it’s going to be done again, sort of, despite the less-than-stellar results the first time around.
It had all the makings of a potential success: a big name (William Shatner), a fun premise (cranky dad says crazy things), and roots in cutting-edge technology (Twitter). But “$#*! My Dad Says” flopped, even though the Twitter feed it was based off of is among the most popular comedy accounts on the network.
Despite the cancellation of this first Twitter sitcom, another Twitter user is looking to cash in on her tweet success.
Kelly Oxford, who tweets at @KellyOxford, will be writing a half-hour show for NBC, according to NYPost. The show is as-yet unnamed, but its plot will revolve around a divorcing couple and the wife’s overbearing sister.
Oxford has over 270,000 Twitter followers, many of them famous faces in comedy – such as Andy Richter, Howard Stern and Jimmy Kimmel. However, it was thanks to Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz that she shot to fame on Twitter, when he retweeted several of her funny tweets two years ago and got her 5,000 followers in a matter of days.
Her rise to Twitter stardom was preceded by years of comedy blogging, but it really was Twitter that put her on the radar of NBC execs.
Oxford explains that she uses Twitter to experiment with her writing:
“Twitter is part exercise, part notebook for me. I don’t care what other medium I’m writing in; I’ve always loved getting lost in creating characters and stories. I get high from it.”
And Oxford explains on her Tumblr that she will not be following in the footsteps of failed “$#*! My Dad Says”, but that Twitter was part of what landed her the gig writing for NBC:
“I’m here to point out what the actual articles say but the readers seem to miss – that unlike “Shit My Dad Says”, I was not approached by producers to turn my tweets into a TV show- though that would have been great too because I like money.
The ‘non famous person followed by famous people’ twitter thing sets me apart from the thousands of other writers out there working on pilots so (I assume) that is why Huffpo and Deadline and Reuters mention it. Fun mental image, but I don’t go into meetings wearing a twitter crown, talking about tweets, or how many followers I have.
Some people do the groundlings, UCB or second city. Some people go to film school. I had babies and wrote screenplays, stories and blogs on my computer.”