A Bunch of Showrunners Don’t Understand Live-Tweeting At All

The Hollywood Reporter asked a bunch of showrunners what they thought about live-tweeting and many of them were annoyingly brutal. Oh, brother.

The Hollywood Reporter recently asked 17 showrunners with upcoming fall shows to complete a fun little survey with softball questions like “Fill in the blank: Broadcast TV is _____” and “The Ideal number of episodes to tell your story is…”. But when asked to simply fill in the blank about their feelings on live-tweeting, these showrunners pulled no punches, most of them proving that they don’t understand live-tweeting at all.

One showrunner is fairly diplomatic saying that live-tweeting is “a great place to connect with fans, share behind-the-scenes details, and find out all the things I’m doing wrong”. Well, hey Mark Goffman of CBS’s Bull it seems like you’ve actually been paying attention in class. Good work!

A few others decide that live-tweeting is right up there underneath murder on the morality scale and act accordingly:

David Guggenheim of ABC’s Designated Survivor says live-tweeting is “boring to me”, which actually sounds pretty good next to what Jeremy Slater from Fox’s The Exorcist actually says. Slater says (and this is a direct quote) that live-tweeting is “a garbage idea perpetuated by garbage people”. He goes on to encourage fans to “watch the show, enjoy the show”. Well Jeremy, this garbage person will NOT be watching or enjoying your show.

What many of these showrunners seem to ignore is the fact that live-tweeting is the reason why many people even watch shows live anymore. Don’t you understand that we can DVR and watch your shows later? Shouldn’t you be encouraging fans to engage in your show by re-creating the feeling of community we used to get through appointment television? Can’t you just not insult the people who do like live-tweeting? But don’t worry, the people of Twitter have plenty to say about these quotes:

Okay so maybe these guys need some proof that live-tweeting is actually increasing engagement. What if there was an official study or something? Oh wait, there is! Nielsen, the literal ratings people, came out with a study showing how live-tweeting impacts engagement and impressions. Oh, and Twitter came out with a study too. Basically what we are saying Mike Schur is that saying live-tweeting is “good for sports, bad for fictional entertainment” and that viewers should “#pleasewatchtheshowandstoptweeting” is minimizing both the impact of live-tweeting and the enjoyment viewers get from it.

Instead of complaining about kids these days and their new-fangled social media, why don’t you focus on making something your audience is passionate about and actually wants to engage with instead of simply passively watching. In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter live-tweeting Grey’s Anatomy.