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June 12, 2013

AT&T Brings New Unscripted Series to Social Media

By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer

With television networks doing everything they can to stay socially connected with webisodes, online commentary, live Twitter (News - Alert) streaming, and YouTube videos, it was only a matter of time before other companies began looking for ways to keep customers interested.

For example, ABC announced it would be airing webisodes during the fourth season of its popular drama, “Rookie Blue.” Although the webisodes would not necessarily add-on to the currently storyline, they were designed to enhance the background of all of the characters. Since the videos went live, they have become a huge success. So, it’s no surprise that others are trying to integrate social media.

However, mobile provider AT&T (News - Alert) is taking it even further with a new unscripted series called “SummerBreak.” The kicker? The entire series will play out online through a variety of social networks. The mobile provider calls it the “next wave” in entertainment, because it will be capturing everything from photos, videos, live-blogging and more. 

“As they explode out of high school for one final, life-changing summer together, the teens will share their experiences in real-time on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube (News - Alert) ? telling their stories, their way,” AT&T said. “Followed for the summer by the production crew, the @SummerBreak Twitter handle will be the hub of the show, re-tweeting the most exciting content, and releasing the daily and weekly episodes, allowing followers to get to know these kids intimately over a summer when anything can happen.”

Billy Parks, producer and EVP of Production and Programming at Chernin Digital, said they wanted the story to come directly from the students. "Today's kids are master storytellers, crafting and sharing their own realities through social media. On Twitter, they let us know how they see the world. On Instagram, they frame their lives. On Tumblr, they collect images that tell us who they are. On YouTube, they're filmmakers,” said Parks. “We're creating a new kind of experience that amplifies the stories these kids are already telling—in their own voices. We'll put those stories out there, in real-time, and let the fans and the followers be the editors."

The unscripted series is set to go live beginning June 17.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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