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A Virtual 'Heroes' Audience

October 28, 2007 9:00 PM

Why have a studio audience when you can have a virtual audience? That’s the philosophy at tech-savvy network G4, which plans to introduce a live virtual audience component to its weekly “Heroes” post-show recap on Saturday nights beginning Nov. 3. That’s when the network starts running the “Heroes” episode from the current season that will have aired on NBC the previous Monday night. For its show recap, G4 is using Webcam Internet company Stickam to let up to eight viewers participate live via their own Webcams and weigh in on the episode, the plot and the theories surrounding the show in a roundtable discussion with weekly guests and the show’s host, G4’s Kevin Pereira. “This is a way to harness the phenomena and attraction this series has and to migrate viewers from their online communities to linear live TV,” said Neal Tiles, president of G4. “G4’s strategy has been to bring Web-like functionality to linear TV. It’s really the only way for a network our size, which targets men 18 to 34, to effectively expect to attract those media nomads.” The integration of Stickam gives the network a toehold in what Mr. Tiles calls “user-influenced” content. That means viewers have a voice, but the network still maintains its brand. G4 has used Stickam on its news show “Attack of the Show” to let the hosts interact with viewers.
—Daisy Whitney

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