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AMC’s new ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ is the first-ever show to debut on Tumblr

“Social media screenings” are becoming the norm. 


Audra Schroeder


Posted on May 20, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 7:01 am CDT

It looks like Tumblr might be getting into the TV business.

The pilot for AMC’s new show Halt and Catch Fire debuted on Sunday night, but it also had the distinction of being the first TV show to also premiere on Tumblr. You can watch the season premiere on AMC’s Tumblr until May 31.

The show documents the the world of computer engineering in Dallas, Texas, in 1983, and the quest to reverse-engineer an IBM computer and “build a machine that nobody else has the balls to build.” As Lee Pace’s character, Joe MacMillan says, “Computers aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that gets us to the thing.”

The show, especially as a summer series, has the potential do very well among Tumblr’s tech-and-social-media-savvy demo. Tumblr screened the show for a group of the site’s “influencers” on Monday, and AMC plans private screenings for companies like Apple, Twitter, and Google, in an effort to develop cache with tech influencers who might find a unique way to promote the show before the June 1 air date.

Between the retro drama of Halt and Catch Fire, and the contemporary comedy of HBO’s Silicon Valley, tech-as-entertainment is becoming an increasingly valuable product, and “social media screenings” are becoming the norm. As a home to countless TV fandoms, Tumblr makes sense as a testing ground for this new show. It will be interesting to see which channels follow suit.

Photo via AMC

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*First Published: May 20, 2014, 12:39 pm CDT