live action, tv, tweens, and twitter: Hmmmmm?

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Nickelodeon is stepping up its live-action comedy efforts with two pilots, one about surfers and the other revolving around telepathic high-schoolers.

The untitled surfing show from producer Tommy Lynch, written by Boyce Bugliari and Jamie McLaughlin (“Quintuplets”), is a single-camera buddy comedy about two high school surfers who spend their lives in pursuit of the perfect wave and the perfect taco.

Lynch has a long-standing relationship with Nickelodeon, having produced such series as “Romeo!” and “South of Nowhere” for the network.

“Telepathic,” from Conan O’Brien’s Conaco Prods., is written by Darin Henry (“The War at Home”). The multicamera comedy concerns two underdogs and a popular girl who navigate high school with the added benefit, and hindrance, of telepathic superpowers.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

Live-action pilots get green light at Nickelodeon | Entertainment | Industry | Reuters

Is it bad that I saw this and was disappointed not to see a goofy tween/teen comedy, the likes of “Ned’s Declassified: School Survival Guide”????  That’s still my favorite tween live action to date (totally the younger version of Scrubs, lol).

<warning: this is what I like to call a ‘yellow flag warning’ – something that sticks unhealthily in my gut, like delicious gum I swallowed, for eons.  Twitter, youth, and celebrity is a concept I’m battling.  I thought it’d be better to address the battle with you, mid-cluster, then sort on my own and miss the chance to open up discussion outside my brain, lol. After rereading, I did notice that I bounce around a lot in it – hopefully I’ll be able to settle into this discussion a little more fully in the coming weeks>

Also, I’ve been happily/merrily following Dan Schneider (of Schneider’s Bakery, creators of Drake & Josh, All That, The Amanda Show, Zoey101, Kenan & Kel, and iCarly, and a genius).  He’s @Danwarp

Ya know, I’ve always been a HUGE fan of his – mainly because he just GETS kids in this weird way that few people can understand, let along speak to… I don’t always agree with some of the tactics, approaches, etc… but you cannot doubt when someone has a gift, one I’m both jealous & enamored of.

He’s been twittering – spoilers, show notes, etc: fun things that his audience/youth might find enticing.  He’s always been up on UGC, from podcasts to social networks (www.icarly.com) to video cam (Drake & Josh opening testimonials were alluding to video casting).  Although much of this stuff seems to be paralleling the social media front, it’s often difficult to get tweens & younger to buy into it if there seems to be some sort of work (understanding) involved.

I have issues with Twitter & kids/youth in general. There is a LOT of education & understand that needs to go on re: identity & how quickly it is for Superman to spill the beans about Clark Kent (and vice versa) in a quick, little-public-barrier, hardly-any-safety-protocol site like twitter – which is more like quick thinking, off-the-cuff, and self-obsessed.

All it takes is for one 12 year old to have his/her location “Branson, MO” in their small profile with a single tweet of “walking to cherryvale mall to shop with lucy!” – to open up a range of possibilities (and I’m not just talking about the perps, but bullying, etc).  Myspace is a big enough problem – and that’s not even up-to-the-second as twitter can be.

But that’s all assuming that twitter picks up with the U13 (or even U18, since 1/2 teens can’t even take care of themselves these days).  So far, so limited.  A few weekends ago Anne Collier (www.connectsafely.org, @annecollier), Amy Pritchard (www.metaversemodsquad.com/, @twigtomorrow), and I chatted at length about the trials & tribulations of Twitter & Tweens ON Twitter, lol (topics like: twitter becoming a call-for-help tool or used by wolf-in-sheeps clothing people starved for attention, or mistaken “friendships” through celebrity contact, furthering the Paris-Hilton-idus of popularity for no reason, or quick-communication and bad assumptions with friends, etc).  I wish I had saved that conversation because it was a fun (and probably insightful) conversation with a lot of questions & thoughts & rambles in the twittersphere.

I bring all these twitter-tangents & pop culture tangets up because – last Friday I saw a message come from @DanWarp (Dan Schneider) to his followers/fans.  Basically, he had been “concerned” with the type of feedback he was getting regarding set pic leaks, info, etc.  The situation seemed to have cleared itself up a bit, at least – by the types of apologies in the comments section of his letter.  But overall, communication with tweens/teens can be tricky, especially when you’re coming from a place of power (in his case, celebrity power).

With new tech coming out, like twitter, and the opportunity to use it as a closer form of communication with your audience – “with great power comes specific responsibility”.  Understanding the turns of the tide and where the lines are at.  It’s very easy to start up certain social tools, but without the right guidance in customer service/audience liasonship, it can be a tricky road of understanding…

Demi Moore was lucky when she reached out to the woman who threatened to kill herself.  Trajedy averted? Yes. However – issue become publicized, woman gain popularity/celebrity, and if things had gone badly, that could have a sticky/frightening situation for all.  Just. Gotta. Be. Careful.

I don’t – in any means – want celebs, people in places of knowledge & power – to stop this quick connection to their audience.  It’s exciting and inspiring and feels the audience with a greater connection to the content/context/person, etc.  However, having a strong knowledge base of things that may happen, how to understand your audience, danger perimeters of conversation, etc are all very, very important as well.  And if you have youth – who have an innocent/curious/thirst for attachement & popularity & acceptence??? That can get even hairier.

Just another reason why community managers & social media consultants are so damn necessary, isn’t it?  Indeed.

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  1. April 13, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks Izzy – I think there would be a lot of interest in that “twitter and tweens” conversation if you can revisit the topic sometime

  2. May 26, 2009 at 7:20 am

    I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall for the chat with Anne C. and Amy…did you post portions on the kids online feed? I’m not using that the way I should, and eager to find a better outlet for universal discussion on same. You bring up salient safety points here, and it’s a bit of a ‘non-issue’ so far, but could be in a snap with tweens. Let’s discuss at the pseudo-safety forum at Ypulse? Sun? Tues? Whenevah. Count me IN.

  3. Sarah
    December 4, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Well i am 15 and i don’t use Twitter as i’m already on Facebook and also I just think it’s weird and I don’t feel like everyone needs to know what I’m doing every second of my life!

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