ABC’s newest reality television show premiered it’s online component Tuesday afternoon on the show’s official website. If you missed the action, you can get a full-fledged recap in our very first Live Feed Update and Discussion thread right in our forums and get an idea of what the show’s producers had in mind for our first look inside the house and at the contestants. While Twitter and our forums were abuzz with mixed reviews of the hour’s glimpse at the show under fire for being Big Brother-esque, we wanted to take a step back and analyze the good, bad and the ugly from today’s live feeds and suggest ways the viewer experience can be enhanced. You can also let the production team at ABC know how you want them to tackle the show by tweeting your suggestions with #GHTellMeWhatToDo or #PeopleInGlassHouses. Production claims to be reading that timeline very closely. So let’s get right into it.
An Early Look Into The House | While we don’t want to draw comparisons between The Glass House and Big Brother, we do have to point out this simple fact. Giving fans a glimpse of the new houseguests in the house through a live feed almost a week before the television premiere is a stroke of genius. Fans of Big Brother have always complained that a lot of the “good stuff” is missed when we go 7-10 days some seasons before we get any peek inside the house. A lot of the introductions, initial impressions, alliance formations, secret chats are missed when more than a week is squeezed into an hour premiere. Introducing America to the cast before the television premiere was a smart move on ABC’s part to keep itself distinct from the show many are comparing it to.
Getting America Involved | Enhancing the viewer experience is also a noticeable strength of the show. Inspired through instant polls located on the website, America can “vote and view” all at the same time. Watching your votes and thoughts get incorporated into the game is a plus. If ABC’s lucky, this enhancement in the viewer’s experience can make a difference in the show’s reception this summer.
Watching Competitions on Live Feeds | Based on the initial live feed broadcast, those interested in the new ABC show got a glimpse at what might have been the show’s first “competition” of the season. While not much production was involved in this competition, watching the houseguests interact and form opinions without any editing was a plus. Granted, they all followed a group mentality mostly, but we’re focusing on the good, so we won’t go into that.
Video on Demand | ABC’s official Glass House site has uploaded VOD clips containing footage of the houseguests since the move into the house. While we might not receive a 24/7 feed, it’s nice to get clips of the houseguests upon first moving into the house before we get a peek at them during the television premiere. Cool feature. Hopefully we’ll get some game play clips coming on soon.
Involving Production on Day 1 | Today was our first peek at the new cast and the new house. They had just moved in. In order for us to get to see their personalities without any kind of production tinkering, it would have been really nice to get a glimpse at their conversations. We can see who is chatting it up with who, what they are talking about, etc. It’s clear that they are probably unaware of what they can and cannot say on feeds, who signed released, what is copyrighted information and such, but production could mute out or switch feeds if those instances arose. Seeing the cast as their normal selves first would have given America more desire to vote in the instant polls later this week.
Live Feed Timing | In all honesty, whoever was in charge of the decision making process of when to air the live feeds online wasn’t thinking clearly. No matter which way you look at it, the majority of America is either outdoors or working during the summertime. 3-4pm EST or Noon – 1pm PST is not an hour of the day where you can pick up social interaction from people you’re trying to target to become fans of your show. Choosing an hour in the evening when people are gathered around, ready to watch television or spend time online might prove to be more effective. The show is supposedly centered around the social interaction from fans, so one would think that choosing a time to garner and build interest would follow. We won’t even go into the fact that fans can access the live feeds during select times each day. It minimizes the viewer experience, no?
A Plethora of Misinformation (Or No Information At All) | Did you even know The Glass House live feeds kicked off today? If not, you weren’t alone. It seemed that fan-made sites, twitter and facebook accounts were better at spreading the word around than the network itself. We know there is an ongoing lawsuit lingering over the show’s future, but until word has been declared, this show is still on. Under that mindset, there should have been more information given through entertainment and media outlets that the feeds kicked off today and that America’s involvement was going to play a huge role. It took up until a half-hour before the feeds kicked off for confirmation from the network to arise on ABC’s twitter account. Those interested even had no idea if the feeds would come through the network’s official site or some other platform or media player. While that is now cleared up, it did not help the kick off event earlier today.
All in all, there were a few pros and cons about today’s The Glass House live feed kick off. Straying from comparisons to Big Brother, what did you all think about the concept? Anything else you’d like to add to the list? Will you be tuning in tomorrow to see if the feeds event is similar? More importantly, will you be tuning in Monday June 18 when The Glass House premieres at 10/9c on ABC! Don’t forget to join us in our FORUMS for on going discussion about everything reality TV this summer and beyond.