Wednesday, 25 March 2009

TV Interactivity FAIL? - Case example - In The Motherhood

Interesting article here -- via @mrjonmacqueen

in the motherhood web series online comedy show
It's an illustration of the strength of online shows to create content from and amongst the communities around them... and the inability of broadcast TV to do the same.

The skew of the article seems to be that it is difficult to achieve legally.

My sense is that it's difficult to achieve editorially.

The depth of an online community IS the show - rather than something a TV series would graft to itself.

Here's a thought: Was Television seen as a "way to develop shows" for radio... back in 1950?
So are we right to apply that logic to online shows today?

From The New York Times:-
This tale of three moms, which has its debut on ABC on Thursday, was created by a marketing company as a Web video series. After drawing millions of views online in the past two years, it was transformed into a traditional network sitcom, making it the first Web show to be remade for network television. But what made the Web series unique — an interactive style of storytelling — was quashed by the legal engine of Hollywood.

On the edition of “Motherhood” (since discontinued), short segments about funny, frazzled mothers were inspired by the real-life stories that viewers submitted via an Internet forum. ABC, similarly, asked for story submissions on its Web site ( and said that they “might just become inspiration for a story by the writers.”

But ABC’s call for ideas from moms drew the attention of the Writers Guild of America, which said this type of request for submissions was “not permissible” under its contract with the network. This week ABC abruptly removed the language about “inspiration” from its Web site, effectively saying that the writers may not be listening to viewers’ ideas, after all.


CLICK HERE for more RECOMMENDED READING on web series production and issues


ScreenplayJ said...

very interesting material.
it's not an easy situation now a days.

storygas said...

Guess not... but what is great news for writers is that we can now become the creators of places for everyone to come and join in.