Fox is partnering with Twitter to promote its fall TV shows by airing select episodes and other related content on Twitter's social network. This includes the new comedy series "Ghosted," which will air nightly on Twitter for several days in September, before its television debut on October 1st.
While TV networks have traditionally turned to social media to promote their series, both new and returning, they usually only publish clips or "sneak previews," not full-length episodes. But in Fox's case, it will air the first episode of "Ghosted" nightly at 9 PM ET (6 PM PT) starting tomorrow, Thursday, September 21 and continuing through Sunday, September 24.
This is the first time a TV show has aired exclusively on Twitter ahead of its broadcast premiere, the companies noted.
But it's not the first time Twitter has streamed TV shows. Other cable networks have done the same, including Turner's TNT (for "Claws"), Bravo ("A Night with My Ex"), Showtime ("I'm Dying Up Here"), and Turner's TBS ("Full Frontal with Samantha Bee's 'Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner").
In addition to airing the episode itself, the shows stars, Craig Robinson and Adam Scott, will introduce the episode, and the show's cast will host a Twitter Q&A when the episode ends each night.
Fox's decision to promote the show on Twitter like this has a lot to do with how crowded the TV landscape has become these days, as streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are now investing in their own original content. That makes its more difficult for a broadcaster to gain attention for a new series than in the past.
Fox's CMO Shannon Ryan even alluded to this problem in a statement shared alongside the news of the Twitter partnership.
"With so much competition out there, it’s more important than ever to create innovative ways to promote our shows and connect directly to our viewers," Ryan said.
"Ghosted" isn't the only show Fox is bringing to Twitter. The network also ran a "catch-up" marathon of returning series "The Mick" featuring show star Kaitlin Olson's top five episodes on Tuesday night. Olson introduced the episodes and the stream included live tweet participation from the show's cast and producers.
While the streams for "The Mick" and "Ghosted" are more limited-time promotions, another live stream from Fox will run throughout the fall TV season.
The network will run a weekly live pre-show ahead of airing "Empire" on TV, where cast members, guest stars, journalists and influencers will get together to discuss the series. This will stream throughout the season at 7:30 PM ET (4:30 PM PT) on Wednesdays, ahead of "Empire" at 8 PM ET.
In this case, Fox is using Twitter to help drive viewers to the show's new timeslot, as well as tapping into the existing interest among fans to discuss the show on social media.
Fox notes that "Empire" is the number one "most social" broadcast primetime show on Twitter and Facebook combined, citing data from Nielsen. It's also the number one "most socially engaging primetime broadcast drama," according to data from ListenFirst Media. And Fox has the largest social footprint among broadcast networks, with its 225 million followers.
“Fox programs and talent regularly engage fans and drive conversation on our platform,” said Todd Swidler, Global Head, Live Video Business at Twitter, in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with FOX to bring TV viewing and conversation even closer together. The discussion of TV shows has always taken place on Twitter and it is a natural evolution to add TV premieres and live pre-shows to our video experience.”
The streams for each TV show will be available on Twitter on the web and on mobile, and will be hosted on the program's Twitter handle.