Tuesday, April 10, 2007

MySpace? My Goodness!

It seems like I'm the only person under 40 without a MySpace page. Somehow, I'm managing to survive.

But the TV powers-that-be are embracing the new Web culture. Two of my favorite series, "Heroes" on NBC and "Bones" on Fox, are using MySpace for new promotions.

"Heroes" already has a preview page running at the site: http://www.myspace.com/heroesofficial, which apparently has clips for new episodes for the series. But NBC isn't just limiting its promotion of its most successful new drama to that Web site. It's still running full episodes of the first 18 shows at nbc.com (for the time being; if you haven't caught up yet, do so now, because they are apparently taking them down soon.) In addition, "Heroes" fans can win a trip to L.A. and a tour of the set of the show by logging in at ItsTimeToSavetheWorld.com.

"Bones" is getting even more interactive than "Heroes." Viewers will be able to pick up key clues and try to solve a murder before Bones and Booth do by visiting either MySpace or Fox's Web site.

In an episode that is directed by series star Emily Deschanel's father, Caleb, viewers will be able to follow the episode on the Web by visiting the characters' MySpace pages. (Who has a weirder home page, Hodgins or Zack?)

From Fox's press release on the episode: Brennan and Booth (David Boreanaz) are called in by Homeland Security to investigate potentially radioactive remains, which are emitting a green glow at the crime scene. Brennan’s team at the Jeffersonian joins her and Booth in pursuing the murder mystery, which leads them to a group of friends who are shocked to discover that one of their own is the victim. During the course of the investigation, the characters’ MySpace pages become a virtual tool for the Jeffersonian team’s search for answers.

In-depth MySpace pages on characters will include personal blogs referencing the episode’s storyline, as well as photos and videos that reveal details about the characters’ relationships and insights into their personalities. These profiles will enable viewers to immerse themselves in the characters’ world and gather clues as to the identities of both the fictional victim and the murderer.

On the one hand, I applaud the networks and the producers of both series for trying new, innovative uses of the Web to make the series more interesting. It certainly shakes things up and expands the creative visions of the writers.

On the other hand, it seems like a heck of a lot of work, especially if you don't have a high speed connection. I haven't checked out any of the MySpace Web pages, so I don't know if you have to be a member or not to look at the pages, but the danger in doing so much stuff on the Web is that less-savvy internet users are in danger of being shut out.

Still, cross-promotion between the internet and the tube is something that will be growing in the future and not a momentary trend, so get used to it.

RICHTER SCALED BACK: The final two episodes of Andy Richter's new sitcom, "Andy Barker, P.I.," will air this Saturday night from 8-9 p.m. on NBC. Low ratings, caused by a clueless public that also doomed Richter's previous show, "Andy Richter Controls the Universe," caused NBC to make the switch. "Scrubs" will appear in that Thursday timeslot, flip-flopping with "30 Rock." Though this is likely the end of the sitcom, I encourage you to catch the final two episodes.

TUESDAY'S BEST BET: From the sublime to the, well, not-so-sublime. Last week, "American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.) fans were treated to Tony Bennett. This week? Jennifer Lopez. At least with Tony Bennett, there was the chance I'd watch "AI," but with J-Lo, not so much. It's followed by a new "House" at 9 p.m., in which the titular anti-hero is forced to treat an outbreak of meningitis on a plane ride. Wow, being stuck with House on a plane while suffering from meningitis? Talk about torture.

Someone uses McGee's new novel as a template for murder on "NCIS," (CBS, 8 p.m.) Sharp-eyed readers of this blog will note that this plot device also appeared on "Bones" a few weeks back, but I expect "NCIS's" tongue-in-cheek approach to keep the material fresh. It's followed by a new "The Unit."

NBC gives us a "Dateline" that looks at catching car thieves, which seems way less exciting than catching online predators (though those episodes make those MySpace cross-promotions more awkward). It's followed by a bunch of new "Law & Orders."

After sacrificing two mediocre sitcom reruns to the 8 p.m. timeslot, ABC comes back at 9 p.m. with a new "Dancing With the Stars" which will eliminate a new pair. It's followed by a brand-new "Boston Legal."

Of course, why would anyone be watching "Boston Legal" when "The Shield" (FX, 10 p.m.) is airing? If you missed last week's absolutely phenomenal season-opener, well, you have no excuse because I even posted last week whilst on vacation to make certain people would know it was on. Anyway, it's new this week, it's got Forest Whitaker again, and it's the best-written show on TV right now, so watch it or I'll send the Strike Team to your address.

4 comments:

Phillip Ramati said...

EDIT: I forgot to mention one of the best MySpace-TV tie-ins. You should still be able to find the hilarious "Robin Sparkles" video of the faux hit song "Let's Go To The Mall" from How I Met Your Mother.

Anonymous said...

(this is zodin2008)

You seem to continue to ignore the fact that you insult some of your audience when you make blanket statements like you did about "Andy Barker". Personally, I hate Andy Richter and don't find him remotely funny. I am glad the show is gone so hopefully "My Name is Earl", an actually funny show can be back on.

And Richter's shows have continually failed Phillip, so to be fair, with 3 failed sitcoms on 3 networks, did it ever occur to you that I am not aone in my disdain for Richter's strange brand of humor?

You can be a critic Phillip but you should spot trends when they happen.

Speaking of trends I can't stand, "MySpace". I am 32 so too old for this world and no interest anyway. I will stick with watching shows on TV.

Edge said...

Phillip, I'm with you on Andy Richter. I have enjoyed all the shows he has done. I can't say much about this last one though, I never did see it. Just not enough time to watch all the shows I enjoy. But I have always enjoyed Andy's brand of humor.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, I know Richter flopped with Andy Barker and Andy Richter Controls the Universe, so I don't know what the third failed show is that Zod is referring to.

Comedy is more subjective than anything else in life. There are people who think The Simpsons and Seinfeld to be terrible comedies, while some consider According to Jim to be legendary. There's no accounting for taste.

I support the shows I support because it's my blog, though I try to be fair with every show. If I'm plugging Andy Barker to bring in a few more viewers, that's fine. If you don't want to watch it, that's also fine.

And when I criticize a show, I like to think I do so fairly, not making blanket statements just because I don't like the genre or the talent behind the show. (OK, I pretty much blast everything done by David E. Kelley, but that's the exception to the rule).