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Twitter Turns Its Attention to TV


Buzzword Bingo by Christopher Saunders (bio)

Deconstructing PR techspeak

Twitter TV show
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.

[Continue reading this blog post at Buzzword Bingo by Christopher Saunders]