One email chain about Whedon’s Doll House: Two great hopes from Mediation about marketing TV shows

Dollhouse_logo
there follows a genuine email chain from my inbox today, names have been initialised to protect the innocent:

OB: "Dollhouse, the new Joss Whedon show, has started in the UShttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollhouse_(TV_series)  Hopefully over here soon…
CS: has had a lot of critical slating but lovely premise, can't wait to see it.  Cx
AK:Oh how very exciting.  I like Dushku.  Can't wait to see it.  Ax
JG: I saw the ads whilst out in Ottawa earlier this year. I do hope
it gets picked up here. The likes of Battle Star Galactica (great show) were
part funded by Sky… they’d do well to get behind some of Whedon’s stuff too.
OB: We stopped watched BSG half-way thru
second series, just didn’t grab us. May try again.
JG:You’ll have to catch repeats then as it finished last night!  It didn’t really change style or quality through the series so I’m
not optimistic you’ll enjoy it much more if you go back to it.
HDL: I really enjoyed the first series of BSG and then it all got a bit a silly.  V exciting re Dollhouse though sounds weird even for JW.  I miss Firefly…
JG: Dollhouse is coming here very soon, maybe on FX I caught the
tail end of an advert for it yesterday – hope it’s good J
OB: In my efforts to find a date for Dollhouse
in the UK
I noticed that Knight Rider has been re-made too. Will def. be watching that!
JG: Not found an exact date – it’s going to be on the Sci-fi channel
in May (Dollhouse that is) Sci-fi have got Knight Rider too.
OB: Thanks, will keep an eye out for it. It’s
great that US TV comes over here so quickly these days rather than having to
wait ages…

I hope two things.  one, that somewhere out there Sc-Fi is planning some media beyond it's own channel to tell people about this programme.  too many shows languish for too long with too small an audience because of the perceived difficulty – and cost – of promoting them.

this is because in the main, promoting programmes beyond your own channel is expensive and is most likely to pay back in the medium or even long term.  but Doll House is one of those rare exceptions to this rule: its a TV project which, because its from Whedon, is genuinely anticipated by a core fan base.  something on which I hope and pray that Sci-Fi are planning to capitalise on.

secondly I hope that for not too much longer the world doesn't have to live without some software that tracks what I like and tells me when TV shows that I may like are coming my way.  or indeed coming back.  I was on the phone to a lovely lady from Sky yesterday week (part of the flat move trauma) who informed me that Fringe was back on Sky.  if she hadn't have said something I may never have known.

this is an application waiting to be written, first brand to write it wins the prize.  watch this space; I will be…

2 responses to “One email chain about Whedon’s Doll House: Two great hopes from Mediation about marketing TV shows

  1. Music has got things like last.fm & soundamus; I keep going on about soundamus over on feeding the puppy… but to recap:
    Last.fm tracks what I listen to (not just buy, like amazon, by actually listen to). It builds my profile.
    Then Soundamus takes that profile, scans upcoming new releases, and drops an RSS feed into my reader saying ‘oh, did you know there’s a new Iron and Wine album out?’
    I click the link if interested, head to amazon, pr-order… repeat ad infinitum.
    I don’t know if there’s a portable video equivalent of the last.fm ‘scrobbler’ (the thing that builds your profile).
    Imagine yer Sky Plus box created a profile online for you, saw what you watched, then emailed you about new shows.
    It wouldn’t necessarily need ‘a return path’ like people always talk about; it could be a bluetooth connection to the PC in yer house maybe.
    The main issue might be that TV channels don’t want you to learn to only watch shows you really want. They still need people to surf indiscriminately in order to keep ratings up, I’d have thought…

  2. Hey Chris, how are you? it has been a while since we worked on that Channel 4 debacle together- would be good to catch up at some point 🙂
    Anyway, I have watched the first 7 Dollhouse episodes (using various legal and not so legal means) and I can tell you they vary enormously in quality – and that as a result Sci Fi may be keeping the launch relatively quiet for good reason.
    There is much speculation on http://www.i09.com and http://www.tvbythenumbers.com (both great sites btw) that the show may not get renewed at the end of the current run (a la Firefly) – leaving a UK audience with an unfinished or at the very least seriously truncated product.
    I agree with you about the TV reccomendation/diarising/purchase engine- it’s the kind of thing that might actually help the TV industry avoid the sorts of piracy issues that the music industry is faced with. Few people have a problem with paying for TV (via license, or via advertising or via subscription), but navigating it is such an arse that we often miss the thing we wanted to see and then have to either find it on demand, pay for it (again) via iTunes or a DVD, rent it from somewhere, or download it from a torrent.
    TV needs to integrate with the web much much better than it currently does. Whilst all the fan chat, fanfic, community events and (interestingly) recommendation of other shows worth catching is happening online, it doesn’t feel like the stations or the producers know how to harness it effectively- even as these two media move closer and closer together (both in terms of technology and usage occasion).
    Have you seen MTV and Area/Code’s ‘backchannel’ stuff (integrating TV viewing, chatroom snarking and gameplay)? it’d right up your straat I reckon.
    Cheers
    Simon (from Carat)

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