With the TV screen already crowded with network logos, promo messages and news crawls, some observers say the last thing the the medium needs is another on-screen message. But that’s just what’s happening, as the Twitter hashtag is now making inroads into programming, writes Michael Schneider in TV Guide.
“What was the deal with this week’s episode of ‘Glee’?” Schneider writes. “We’re not talking about Will Schuester’s questionable math skills or Holly Holiday’s take on Adele. Nope, we were wondering about that bug at the bottom of the screen that read ‘#Glee’ throughout the entire show.”
Fox marketing President Joe Earley had this explanation, according to the report: "We’ve noticed shows like ‘Glee’ and ‘Idol’ trend while the show is on, but fans often use different hashtags. … We thought if we provided the official hashtags, then more posts would aggregate."
Earley said Fox worked on finding a graphic treatment that would be noticed by viewers who use Twitter but would not bother those who don’t. Besides “Glee,” the tags have appeared on Fox shows “Fringe,” “Bones” and “Breaking In.”
Schneider writes: “Such a move was probably inevitable, as social networking has already proven to be a help in driving viewers to watch TV as it’s airing (rather than later on a DVR). NBC next week launches NBC Live, a whole site devoted to promoting its shows via social media, while CBS just recently held its own ‘Tweet Week’ devoted to its shows.”