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The Art of the Crowdfunded Comedy

Bill-Schultz-comicartYou’d expect a four-time Emmy-award-winning producer to put out his latest offering on TV, but when Bill Schultz and co-creator Jim Manos, Jr. pitched their animated dramedy Jimmy Stones to the networks, they weren’t pleased with the response. There was interest, but the duo would have been required to change the format of the show to match the style of the platforms they were pitching.

Unwilling to sacrifice his team’s vision, Schultz is looking to put his show online, supported by crowdfunding dollars. The idea is to build up an online audience whose size will impress a network enough to put it on air, in an unadulterated format. That doesn’t mean Schultz and team aren’t open to suggestions, as long as they’re coming from the right place:

With Jimmy Stones, we’re offering people a chance to actually get their scripts covered, a chance to give story notes, a chance to get their name in the credits. We’re really opening up the kimono. It’s like a Wiki collaboration, and we’re looking at doing that throughout the series. So, yes, when we get to a big television network series, then that would have to fall away but while it’s of the people it’s of the people. This platform we’ve created really offers people a chance to do something they’ve never done before.

For more about the show and planning behind it, read: So What Do You Do, Bill Schultz, Emmy-Winning Animation Producer?

Latin Grammy Awards Sees Double-Digit Audience Growth, Social TV Success

date_venue_newsThe 15th annual Latin Grammy Awards took place Thursday night, and despite going up against mid-season finales on major networks, it manages to beat out CBS, NBC, and Fox among adults 18-34. The awards outdelivered the entire original lineup on NBC and Fox.

The awards also came in second place on Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings chart generating 171,000 tweets by 58,000 unique authors. While these numbers were only about half those of ‘How to Get Away With Murder,’ the Latin Grammy Awards still had a greater unique audience. Read more

Vonvo is Making Waves Among Non-Profits. Media Companies Are Next

vonvoLong gone are the days of the Jerry Lewis telethon.

Now, non-profits and charities rely on a mix of direct response, social media, and word of mouth to raise money.

They also have Vonvo. The video conversation (hence “vonvo”) platform gives them the ability to not only stream live video and host discussions, but also to raise money and collect email addresses. These last two features are perhaps the biggest differentiators between the platform and Google+ Hangouts or Skype.

To date, Vonvo has hosted live events for StandWithUs, Ndaba Mandela’s Africa Rising Foundation, The World We Want, and most recently, St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children.

In October, Vonvo teamed up with St. Mary’s to broadcast “A Tribute to Nick Cannon,’ a concert celebrating the ‘America’s Got Talent’ host for his work on behalf of the organization. The concert took place at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square and featured Sons of Serendip and Quintavious Johnson, among others.  Patients and St. Mary’s supporters unable to be in attendance were able to watch the livestream on Vonvo and chat about the event. Read more

#TheCatch Unites Rivals On Twitter, For a Minute

Last night Odell Beckham Jr. did something incredible: he brought Giants and Cowboys fans together. While  #NYGvsDallas was filled with a little trash-talk, #TheCatch was good enough to make everyone just shut up and love football:

Well, at least for a minute. Then Dallas fans were happy to rub it in: Read more

Social Scoreboard: Friday, November 21

Syfy’s “WWE Friday Night Smackdown!” and NFL Network’s “A Football Life” took the top two spots in the Nielsen Twitter ratings last night. “Shark Tank,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and “Constantine” rounded out the evening.

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‘State of Affairs’: How Twitter Reacted to Katherine Heigl’s Return to TV

140509_2781084_State_of_Affairs_Official_TrailerKatherine Heigl made her return to network television this week on NBC’s (anticipated?) ‘State of Affairs.’ While the majority of tweets about the show were positive, those who made the comparison between the plot of ‘State of Affairs’ with the plots of ‘Scandal’ and ‘Homeland’ were not impressed.

According to our analytics partner Canvs, which measures Twitter sentiment, 6,337 of 15,186 tweets about the series premiere were emotional reactions. 51% of the emotional reactions included the word “love” and 19% included “good.” The premiere drove the most emotional reactions towards the end of episode, when Heigl’s and Alfre Woodard’s characters plotted revenge. Below, some more insights from Canvs on what drove the Twitter conversation, followed by an infographic: Read more

Social Scoreboard: Thursday, November 20

Last night, Univision’s “Latin Grammy Awards,” and the winter finale of “Scandal” took the top spots in the Nielsen Twitter ratings (where is Olivia, people?!).

Other #TGIT winter finales “How to Get Away with Murder,” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” took the third and fourth spots, with “The Vampire Diaries” rounding out the evening. Screen shot 2014-11-21 at 12.46.45 PM

Emmitt Smith Will Sign Your Tweets This Weekend

signmytweetNow’s your chance to get an autograph from Emmitt Smith. Well, a digital one at least. This weekend, Comcast is hosting an autograph giveaway.

During the first half of the Giants and Cowboys game on Sunday night, Smith will tweet something, according to the release, to get it all started. Fans will then have 24 hours to tweet @XFINITYSports with the hashtag #SignMyTweet. Someone at Comcast (I pity this guy), will print out the tweets, have the Hall of Famer sign them on Monday night, and then mail oversized copies to fans. Smith says in the statement:

Read more

Woody Harrelson and Benedict Cumberbatch Lead This Week’s Top Viral TV Clips on 5by

5byIn this Friday’s installment of our partnership with 5by, the video discovery and messaging platform that curates the web’s best viral videos, we take a look at the top five videos of the week from the platform’s TV category.

Coffee culture is getting out of hand and no one demonstrates that better than Conan’s Associate Producer, Jordan Schlansky. Schlansky displayed an uncanny ability to not laugh as he took on Intelligentsia Coffee roastmasters. SNL took on New York’s decision not to arrest people with less than an ounce of marijuana. It doesn’t mean that people can smoke, though … For more on the videos selected, Theo Tabah, 5by’s Head of Content: Read more

Social Scoreboard: Wednesday, November 19

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” and “Law and Order:SVU” took the top two spots in the Nielsen Twitter ratings last night. “Nashville,” “Arrow,” and “South Park” rounded out the evening.

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