While lots of TV shows have referenced Twitter on the air, Syfy says it will be the first to create a storyline that flows between TV and Twitter over several episodes.
“The Haven writers and producers have done an amazing job of crafting a story line that seamlessly moves between the TV show and Twitter,”said Craig Engler, GM and SVP, Syfy Digital. “Although there have been simple integrations before, no one has fully and organically integrated Twitter into the fabric of the show in the way Haven is doing. If you watch Haven and use Twitter, you’re in for a real treat.”
It all gets started tomorrow night when a seven-episode arc debuts. Two characters in the show, who run the newspaper in Haven, join Twitter for the first time (which is kind of funny in itself, but I digress). Vince and Dave, played by Richard Donat and John Dunsworth, just started tweeting on their accounts, @vincehaven and @davehaven, just like they’re old-fashioned news guys.
A subplot will play out on Twitter (they’ll interact with each other and a mysterious @coldinhaven account), which will appear in “glimpses” during the show. “The story has been created in such a way that viewers who don’t follow the Twitter plot can still enjoy the show. For those that do, there will be a special meaning to events in Haven during these seven episodes,” explains Executive Producer Lloyd Segan. Syfy will also plug the Twitter integration with promos and the #HavenNews hashtag.
“Syfy has embraced that conversation, and now it’s breaking new ground with this Haven storyline,” said said Robin Sloan, manager of media partnerships at Twitter. “It incorporates Twitter more deeply into the show’s plot than anything we’ve ever seen before.” In fact, Twitter is working with SyFy over the seven weeks to measure how viewers respond. They say they’ll release the findings to everyone, so other networks can learn from the SyFy experiment. (You don’t see that every day.)
While Haven does seem to be taking the Twitter storyline integration the furthest so far, USA Network’s Covert Affairs has also created character accounts that tie to an alternate storyline.
Haven kicks off the experiment this Friday, August 12, at 10PM (ET/PT).