This little flight of marketing fancy might very well succeed in recapturing Big Love viewers and even winning a new audience. But what about some other returning shows without the budget or the creativity to exploit the subconscious desires of the masses? I've decided to be a generous soul (it's my new thing for '09!) and come up with a few ideas for shows that have been off the air so long that their core audience has all but given it up for dead. Just call me Mother Theresa.
I admit, it was a smart move on the 24 peeps' part to come out with a 2-hour movie-style TV "event" to get us stoked for the return of the beloved show. Me myself, I'm more into a slow burn. I've already forgotten all about Redemption and am struggling to remember the name of the lead character (Jack something?), so I think the show's return might've been better promoted with a guerrilla-style Twitter campaign (a la Mad Men) in which that guy (his name keeps escaping me!) keeps everyone up to speed on shit he's doing -- in real time. I don't know about you guys, but getting to hear the gory details of a particular tricky BM or the contents of Jack Bauer's spam folder would be scintillating info.
If I were a much sicker and more jaded individual, I might point out that in the intervening months since Idol was last on the air, the show's managed to stay in the headlines due to an inordinate number of tragedies (Paula Godspeed, Jennifer Hudson), but even I don't think Seacrest would stoop so low as to concoct such atrocities (though I do believe he's in cahoots with Satan). Now when the show does come back, all anyone will be thinking about is the sad mess it's left in its wake (and Jason Castro's luscious dreadlocks). They'd have done well to mount a positive campaign in which people could compete to get Ryan as a personal assistant for the months leading up to the show's return. Imagine how many people would participate if the possibility of getting to watch Ryan clean your toilet was at stake?
Silly Lost showrunners, thinking that they'll be able to plant cliffhangers and red herrings all over the place and have people coming back for more! That barely works on a week-to-week basis anymore, let alone when we're talking months at a time. What we really need to do to keep people interested is create a reality based program that works off of the premise as Lost, but is styled in more of an interactive, Choose Your Own Adventure way, sort of like a mix between Burger King's Subservient Chicken and Oregon Trail. You can watch real people interact, dictate their actions from remotely, and watch as they get dysentery, get devoured by polar bears, drown or escape from the island in an aircraft carrier.
I know I'm always talking about that show Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty, but that is because it's awesome! Why couldn't we poach that idea for the purposes of Hell's Kitchen? You could sign up to have Gordon Ramsay telling people you don't like to sod off, sending them pig parts in the mail and generally terrorizing your enemies during his downtime from the show? It would build a feeling of bonhomie toward the otherwise terse British a-hole and make us all eager to tune in to a new season. Or maybe I'm just a vengeful bitch.
Obviously, we need to take advantage of what Michael K might call Patricia Arquette's magnificent chichis and use them as veritable Magic 8 Balls to help us make sense of ambiguous text messages, decide what to eat for dinner and generally plot our futures. Definition of a promo!
What are some other ways long-absent shows can make us stoked for their returns? I'm all ears!
MOST RECENT POSTS