You can like a show before you’ve ever seen it

Thanks to Facebook, you can now “like” a television show before it even premiers.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of promos for the new CHARLIE’S ANGELS show coming on ABC Thursday this fall, and I’ve been thinking about how I loved the original series when I was a kid. It was appointment tv every Wednesday night,” Gary Little posted on Facebook in anticipation of the Sept. 22 premier of ABC’s remake.”Three smokin hot women having fun, kicking ass, solving mysteries in skimpy outfits and no bras. What else do you need?”

Forget show-wrecking spoilers you see online before you have a chance to watch the TiVo’ed episode of True Blood. More and more, television networks are relying on fans to talk about shows online, before they’ve even premiered. Major networks will premier 27 new scripted shows this month, and a growing share of the success will be determined by online responses.

“Can’t wait to watch the integrations pan out….” Michael Hoffman tweeted in reference to the ever growing trend to tie online promotions to what happens on-air.

The push to cross-promote the fall lineup via social media has become so pervasive in the industry that Mashable launched a series this week covering which shows are premiering each night and how they are using Twitter and Facebook. Most of the actors and actresses on the new CBS show Broke Girls, for example, have been tweeting leading up to Monday night’s premier, while NBC has already garnered 94,000 “likes” for the Facebook page of The Playboy Club.

Advertisers have increasingly scoured social media posts for positive comments about new shows to figure out where their money is best spent. Early indicators, according to an analysis of Facebook and Twitter status updates by AdWeek, suggest that ABC and CW have the strongest fall lineups.

Some, however, saw the online promotional efforts as rudimentary while noting it was an improvement over past seasons. Efforts for the four shows premiering Monday, according to Mashable, mostly revolved around official Twitter and Facebook pages. The Twitter pages of Broke Girls lead actresses Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings had relatively few show-specific postings on Monday afternoon.

“Ok Networks, you’re just scratching the surface here but I’ll take it – for now,” Jennifer Batchelor posted on Twitter.

And, of course, early promotion can backfire: for every positive comment about Charlie’s Angels that turned up in a Kurrently search, there were just as many disparaging comments and posts complaining about more tampering with the original series.

“I bet the inventor of television was secretly hoping they’d make CHARLIE’SANGELS at least two times,” Ben Axelrad said on Twitter.

Image via ABC

Dave Copeland

Dave Copeland

Dave Copeland is a tech reporter whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and ReadWrite. He teaches journalism at Bridgewater State University.