A few days ago, I came across this while perusing the Internet…
(PRETEND A VIDEO IS HERE)
Ohhhh, so that’s who Blake Shelton is!
Naturally, my interested piqued. It then proceeded to go through the roof when an Associated Press article offered the following:
“NBC has heavily promoted ‘The Voice’ and is also seeking an edge by ramping up the role of the Internet and social networks, employing a ‘social media correspondent’ to entice viewers to engage with the show.”
And lucky me — I just landed a blog about this precise thing! How exciting!
Wait. Let’s back up. All told, my interest really piqued when I heard who the judges would be. I have a soft spot for both Adam Levine (sans anything post “Songs For Jane”) and, I type as my face becomes more and more flush with the color red, Christina Aguilera (come on now — “Ain’t No Other Man” is a classic). Those two didn’t really compare to who I really had my eye on, though, and that was Cee-lo. Who could have ever thunk the dude from Goodie Mob would be spatting off about wanting to “coach” a country singer in primetime on NBC literally 20 years after his former group dropped its first single? Now that’s television.
The good news? The ratings did well. Actually really well. Good enough, in fact, to beat out the ratings monster that is “Glee” on its first night Tuesday (from what I understand, a repeat of the first episode aired Wednesday night). The bad news? Well, if you care about how much buzz this thing can generate online, with page views, advertising sales and other such nonsense (which, well, is kind of why I’m here), you’d notice that the show posted on NBC’s website runs only house ads during commercial breaks. It seems as though they couldn’t get anyone to buy in on it … yet.
The reason this matters is simple: With the so-called “social media correspondent” addition to the show — coupled with strips of dialogue posted across the bottom of the screen during some performances that look like this: “@blakeshelton: You’re sayin’ good stuff @adamlevine but it’s all bull crap! #keepinitcountry #TheVoice” — one would have to be an idiot not to realize that the heads at NBC wanted to push the growing-older-by-the-minute formula of “American Idol” and update it with the usage of Twitter, Facebook and, of course, NBC’s own website.
You can’t blame the network for trying. Especially when that network happens to be losing every single television battle imaginable in the ratings war. Will this work? At this point, who knows? It’s literally impossible for one episode to be any type of indicator of the future. Well, that is, of course, unless your name is “The Paul Riser Show.”
But can it work? It could. It does update the “Idol” formula somewhat, and if they decide to lean on more social media, the show could find itself in a class all by itself. The show feels a lot like watching “Idol,” with its cheesy editing and heart-warming subplots, so spinning the wheel a little further by taking the premise and aiming it at those who use the Twitter-face or the Face-page seems like the logical next step, a step “Idol” probably will never be able to take because of its already-wavering relevance and inevitable shelf life.
Either way, this whole thing does solve at least one problem NBC had: Now they have something for Carson Daly to do until his late-night talk show finally disappears.