#TrueBlood: Live from the Set is the first time HBO has ever put live Tweets on air – outside a major sporting event – during a rare, live telecast before one of its most popular shows.
The backdrop for the event was the infamous Fangtasia, the vampire bar in the show, which served up Tweets instead of cocktails. Tweets on air were shown for fifteen minutes before the actual episode started, and gave fans unparalleled access to their screen vamps and werewolves. The cast also tweeted goofy behind-the-scenes pictures via the Twitter mirror for the fans in the minutes before the episode began. Live from the Set helped build engagement, which reached a crescendo as the show began.
The result? True Blood, on its first try, topped HBO’s social ranking for the week on SocialGuide, which looks at social media activity around television programs. The idea, according to the show’s producers, was to drive further engagement on social media – and reach its already active audience that tweets during the show. Just take a look at the results of #showyourfangs to see how engaged the fans are. The True Blood team then chose from these pics to display their “top trubies” (True Blood fans) on the program.
Viewers were polled to see which villains were their favorites – voting either Vampire King Russell (#russellrules) or mysterious “Maenad” Maryann (#MadMaryann) to the top of the list. Russell, played by actor Denis O’Hare, won top honors and appeared at the end of the show to thank his fans. And the cast themselves tweeted live from the set.
Cast (and characters):
For super fans, the results were all in the bloody details, with questions for the cast like: “What’s the hardest thing to say while you’re wearing fangs?,” “Do you do your own stunts?,” “Did it make you cry?”
The answers are, by the way, “Sookie Stackhouse,” “Yes,” and “Yes.”