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Twitter explores a TV show - really

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In another confirmation that truth may be stranger than fiction, Hollywood trade mag Variety yesterday reported that Web 2.0 wunderkind Twitter is on the verge of creating a TV show.

Twitter brass confirmed that it's signed a deal with TV producer Reveille -- which has produced hits like "The Office" and "Ugly Betty" -- and with Brillstein Entertainment, a talent agency that also has production credits under its belt that include ''The Sopranos'' and ''NewsRadio''.

The result? Hard to say. In a blog post, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone downplayed news of the "project" as "a lightweight, non-exclusive, agreement with the producers which helps them move forward more freely." (FYI, Biz, that really doesn't do much to suggest that nothing is happening here.)

Variety said the show -- created by novelist and screenwriter Amy Ephron (A Cup of Tea: A Novel of 1917 and One Sunday Morning) -- would center around "putting ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competitive format."

It's still unclear what this all means, though I don't envy Reveille and Brillstein the task of coming up with a show based on 140-character-long messages that isn't immediately ridiculed by network execs. Then again, NBC did pick up "Quarterlife" and ABC had "Dot Comedy," which I don't recall but is described (by a familiar name) as "a prime time series profiling the best humor created for the Internet." (If that description wasn't a red flag, I don't know what is.)

To the networks' credit, both "Quarterlife" and "Dot Comedy" were pulled after one episode.

And yet, Variety quotes Brillstein co-president Jon Liebman saying things like, "We've found a compelling way to bring the immediacy of Twitter to life on TV." Uh, yikes.

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