For the first time ever – Tweets will decide the ending of a live TV drama.
A recent survey showed that the average Irish person spends nearly two months of every year watching TV. Perhaps this is not a surprise to most people! However, a far more interesting nugget of information might be the revelation that around a fifth of TV viewers under the age of 35 regularly engage in ‘chatterboxing’ (commenting on a programme on social media sites via a laptop or smart-phone) as they watch television. This trend flies somewhat in the face of the growing use of Playback or Catch-Up TV services, however it seems that a large number (24%) of people like watching their favourite programmes live so that they can specifically join in the online conversation. A further 19% say they watch live because they fear that ‘spoilers’ will crop up in their Facebook or Twitter feeds.
Reflecting the growing use and importance of “chatterboxing”, the American TV channel CBS has decided (for the first time) to allow Twitter users to actually determine the outcome of a scripted show in primetime. The show is Hawaii Five-O (which uses the Twitter hashtag #H50) and is inviting viewers to decide in real time via Twitter how a particular murder mystery episode of Hawaii Five-O will end. As the drama unfolds on the TV screen, viewers will see a prompt to vote for the culprit, which they think is responsible for a mysterious death in the programme. Viewers will be prompted to tweet three possible answers: #TheStudent. #TheBoss or #TheTA. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the Hawaii Five-O production staff will be tallying the Twitter votes immediately, and will put the most popular selection out on air to end the show. If viewers are worried about missing out on any of the three possible endings they can login onto CBS.com as CBS have posted all three endings online and which will be available to viewers after the show has been broadcast.