‘Psych’ revs up new season with social TV game

By Cory Bergman 

With the season premiere of USA Network’s Psych right around the corner, producers have created #HashtagKiller, a social game that ties to a fresh storyline around the show. “The thrilling ‘whodunit’ experience will take fans of the show through an engaging Psych storyline specifically created for this experience, allowing them to send and receive messages directly with Shawn and Gus (series stars James Roday and Dulé Hill), in an effort to solve the case,” explains the network. “Through the company’s integration with Facebook’s Open Graph technology, fans will now be able to integrate the game into their Facebook world, pulling friends in.”

Fans watch original video with the cast along with audio feeds, photos and Facebook messages to collect clues and unlock bonus games. As they progress, fans climb a leaderboard in a bid to become a #HashtagKiller victim themselves and become part of the story. And Psych has a lot of active online fans: 100,000 have joined Club Psych (fans are known as “Psych-Os”) to earn real and virtual rewards.

“This gaming experience further illustrates USA’s commitment to pushing forward and defining the concept of Social TV, while giving fans the content they crave in an entertaining new package,” says Jesse Redniss, Digital VP. “It allows our fans unprecedented interaction and engagement with cast, characters, show creators and other loyal fans extending beyond the on-air boundaries of the original series.”

Beyond participating via Facebook and Twitter, fans can punch up USA’s own social TV experience called “Character Chatter” to swap clues and ideas with other fans. The experience filters feeds from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, embedding photos and videos into the stream.