May 25, 2009
The Inevitable Twitter TV Project
File this one under #jumpingonthebandwagon. Or, possibly, #aheadofthecurve.
"The Biggest Loser" producer Reveille and Brillstein Entertainment Partners are developing a reality TV show concept built around Twitter, the fast-growing microblogging service. The two companies announced their plans Monday, saying they "have partnered with Twitter" on the idea and that the concept is "the first worldwide television series to use the service to direct the action of the show."
Details of the project were few, but Reveille and Brillstein said the idea will put "ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competition format."
Celebs from Ashton Kutcher ("That '70s Show") to Wil Wheaton ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") have been among the early adopters of Twitter, using the service to extend their brands and to communicate directly with fans.
Given Brillstein's access to talent via the company's management division, it's not hard to imagine some of its clients participating in the Twitter project. Indeed, Ephron—a novelist and journalist whose 2005 work "A Cup of Tea" was optioned by Jerry Bruckheimer—is represented by Brillstein.
Executive producers of the untitled Twitter project include Reveille managing directors Mark Koops and Howard T. Owens, along with Brillstein Entertainment partners CEO Jon Liebman. Lee Kernis, Amy Ephron, Kevin J. Foxe and Steven Latham also will executive produce; Ephron created the concept for the show.
"Twitter is transforming the way people communicate—especially celebrities and their fans," Owens said. "We are thrilled to be partnering with them to unlock the potential of this groundbreaking technology on television in the first-ever series incorporating Twitter into the action of the show."
Liebman said Reveille and Brillstein have "found a compelling way to bring the immediacy of Twitter to life on TV.”
Owens—or @htowens in Twitter parlance—foreshadowed the project with a mysterious May 19 post to the service. "Ephron," he wrote.
Reveille sibling ShineReveille International has global distribution rights for both the format and the U.S. series, should it find a buyer.
The deal for the project was put together by Sean Marks and Bob Myman of Myman, Abell, Fineman, Greenspan & Light and Jonathan Gardner of Cohen & Gardner helped broker the deal. Ephron is repped by Brillstein.