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Karen Fratti

Karen Fratti is a media and technology writer based in New York City. You can follow her at @karenfratti.

Fall TV Fail: NBC’s Marketing Wednesdays All Wrong

wcwIf NBC is thinking about winning over women on Wednesday nights, it might want to rethink its strategy. “The Mysteries of Laura,” a new Debra Messing show about a tightly wound cop trying to be a good mom premiered last night, upsetting critics and fans.

Next week, it will open for Chicago P.D. and Law and Order: SVU — both of which have strong social media followings.

Marketing the lineup as #WCW just feels weird. “Women Crush Wednesday” is problematic for many reasons, the first of which is that it’s juvenile. Either you are targeting middle school girls with Instagram accounts for your Wednesday night lineup, or you’re trying to emulate ABC’s Shondaland Thursdays and have totally missed the mark. Neither situation is ideal or makes sense.

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Netflix Orders New Judd Apatow Series

netflix-logoOne more point for Netflix this week when it comes to original content. The netcaster (a term used by Variety in an original report and which I hope we all start using ASAP) ordered two seasons of a Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, and Paul Rust creation called “Love,” which we can only assume will be like “Girls” but maybe worse. From Netflix’s release, the show’s about two characters who will “navigate the exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment, and other things they were hoping to avoid.”

Definitely worse.

But probably also definitely a hit when it’s set to debut in 2016. Talk about playing the long game; Amazon and Hulu need to step up their bidding game because it’s not likely that “Doozers,” or “Alpha Dog” are going to cut it.

Channel 4 To Use Snapchat and What’s App To Cover #indyref in U.K.

It’s very possible that after an overnight vote tomorrow, Scotland will no longer be a part of the U.K. In line with their progressive take on serving up broadcasts over digital media, Channel 4′s news network will be using social media and livestreams to document the voting process.

According to a report from Journalism.co.uk, the channel will break news via Snapchat and What’s App. They’ll use Snapchat Stories to tease updates, gamify the vote, and provide context. According to C4′s social media producer, Jennifer Rigby, they want to update viewers where they are, but also get people to follow the newly launched social media accounts, instead of just following #indyref on Twitter or the liveblog.

It’s a win-win for the social media team and the news team, who’ll be posting updates in between stand-ups to the two accounts. The station has also teamed up with Mashable to cross-post content during the vote.

Channel 4 is a  scrappier, basic British television station, without the glam of the BBC. Because of that, they’re everywhere. They also make most broadcasts available for free online on their “Catch Up” page, where viewers can stream the past week’s packages (and you can catch up on  local #indyref news).

See for yourself about the scrappy bit:

h/t Journalism.co.uk

‘New Girl’ Episodes Finally On Netflix

For those in the know, it might as well be “New Girl” day. Tonight’s the season 4 premiere on FOX and Netflix just began streaming season 3 today.

Netflix release dates could be so much better utilized by networks if they weren’t so wary of viewers streaming old content on any website other than theirs. You could hype the serendipity of the premiere date and being able to binge on last season during your lunchbreak. People like that sort of thing.

Instead, you have to really be paying attention to notice. Also released on Netflix today is FOX’s “Bones” season 9, which premieres next week, so you could theoretically catch up on that, too.

Tonight’s premiere of “New Girl” is bound to be a social hit anyway with guest start Jessica Biel and a little catfighting between her and Jess.

Mixed Social Reactions to ‘The View’ Premiere

theviewThis morning, “The View” kicked off a new season, with a whole new lineup. Whoopie, Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez and Nicole Wallace have taken over the coffee table and fans were not really feeling it.

Biggest complaints were about the new format:

Many complained about the new hosts, although Rosie Perez was an all around favorite.

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4SeTV App Lets You Stream Four Channels At Once

4SeTV standalone imageMore is always better when it comes to television, right? That’s the idea of 4SeTV, a set top box and app that streams over the air broadcasts to a tablet or smart television. You buy the hardware and there are no monthly subscription fees or other costs, so getting into it is easy.

Through the free app, available for iOS and Android, you can split the screen, watching up to four channels at once. You can easily switch audio between the screens so when you want to flip between MSNBC and CNN morning shows or Thursday Night Football and “Scandal” it’s no problem.

It’s kind of like Aereo but with more screens, except that 4SeTV isn’t rebroadcasting the signal, so you can’t pause or record. But you can also count on it to not disappear because the FCC says so.

The bummer is that founder Hyung Lim started a Kickstarter campaign, ending this Thursday, and won’t reach his goal of $50,000. But that’s not going to stop him he says:

There are a lot of things I learned running the Kickstarter campaign for the first time and there are a lot of things I want to improve. One thing is that I’m targeting sports fans, and though they’re watching over the air broadcasts, they also watch a lot of ESPN and that’s been a major issue. I’m going to fix it by creating additional hardware and come back to the Kickstarter so that I can include content like ESPN along with the other.

He’s backed by hardware company DMT, “so I can continue the operation and development to reshape my messaging and things like that for the second round,” he says.

You can watch a demo from Lim here and check out the Kickstarter here.

Playing Along With ‘Project Runway’

projetrunway_klumgunnSocial television and casual gaming are having a moment. It makes sense: people like talking about television on social media and people really like playing games. Why not do both?

This fall Bravo’spioneering the social TV-gaming area with “The Singles Project,” a reality show that is an interactive game (and might get you a date), and just this week we wrote about an app to make a game out of watching NFL games.

Lifetime’s getting in on the fun, too, with “Project Runway.” Every Thursday, viewers are instructed to go to mylifetime.com to play along live. They prompt you to get ready, and then ask questions like “Is Fade About To Lose It?” (answer: yes), or “Is Emily’s Look Too Boring?” (maybe). projectrunwayscreenshot1

The catch? Once you’re there playing along whether you want to or not, you’ve entered the deep, deep world of “Project Runway.” Get the weekly newsletter, answer trivia about past seasons, shop the designer’s clothes, and tweet, tweet, tweet about your experience there.

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Kerry Washington Dishes on Social Media, Sexism, and Living in ShondaLand

ShondaLand Brews panel (1)Buzzfeed Brews, the news outlet’s video series, featured a panel discussion last night with social television’s favorite (and maybe pioneering) stars: Ellen Pompeo of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal’s” Kerry Washington, and Viola Davis of ABC’s new show, “How to Get Away With Murder.”

All three shows are written and produced by Shonda Rhimes, comprising what fans call “Shondaland Thursdays” or ABC’s “Shondaverse,” depending on their level of enthusiasm. The panel discussion, moderated by Buzzfeed’s Kate Arthur, focused on Rhime’s knack for creating strong female leads, diverse casts, and most importantly, social buzz.

Here are some highlights.

Ellen Pompeo praised a humble Kerry Washington for her role in gathering the “Gladiators” on social media: 

Kerry was so instrumental for making “Scandal” what it is, not to take anything away from Shonda, but it was really Kerry’s sort of political side that she pushed through. She made people watch it and made people pay attention. The whole Twitter thing — Kerry deserves a lot of credit for taking a leadership role in that.

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Armchair Quarterbacks, This App’s For You

Spit App Logo 304x200Today, just in time for NFL Thursdays, i.TV launched a new televised sports app, Spit. It’s a game for the game and doesn’t take umpteen hours to set up like a fantasy league.

Users download the app, invite friends, and then answer questions throughout the broadcast like, “will the next play be a run or a pass or an intercept?” The questions run on a ten second timer and there’s a leader board for your crew and for the entire Spit audience. Founder and i.Tv CEO Brad Pelo says:

What we discovered is that fans of sports tend to be a little bit more engaged around second screening, but there’s a great opportunity to get them to competitively engage. We built a feature last year for Nintendo, for their second screen experience and we watched , specifically for sports, the metrics just skyrocket. It became the second most used feature on the platform.

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How ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Rules With Social Media

SOAanarchyaferwardLast night’s “Sons of Anarchy” premiere was trending last night, beating out “Big Brother” in Nielsen’s Twitter ratings. It’s not just that the final season promises to be the most excruciating yet. Fan interaction on social media is almost at “Scandal” levels.

This is how they kill it on social media, in two easy steps:

Showrunner Kurt Sutter is an active Twitter user and promoter. If you’re a fan and don’t interact with him, you’re missing out.

Taking a hint from “The Walking Dead,” FX is running #AnarchyAfterword live after the show, instead of just online. So fans can participate right after in asking questions and getting their fan fix on. On the show website, and via on-air prompts, they also advertise the week’s featured hashtags.

It doesn’t hurt that the show is packed with suspense and plot twists, making it easy to gush over on Twitter or TvTag. Can we start the #SaveJuice campaign, yet?

 

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