Threshold writers get blogging

I’ve been known to whine that television networks don’t do a very good job of using the Internet to complement their programs (Brave new cyberworld and TV ventures into podcasting are a couple of examples). But things have really picked up this season, with entire episodes for selected shows available online, podcasts offering DVD-style content, and other online content.

CBS is creating blogs for its shows, including one supposedly written by a character – Barney’s Blog for How I Met Your Mother. It’s not a show I watch, and not a concept I’m very enthusiastic about. I can suspend my disbelief with the best of them when watching television, but I’m not sure I care what fictional characters have to say beyond that box.

But now, a show I have watched and enjoyed, Threshold, has combined my craving for glimpses behind the scenes with my theory that more online content makes for more loyal fans. The Writers’ Grotto is that show’s recently launched blog. There are only a few posts, but I’ve already learned something new – the title “Story Editor,” like most of the producer credits on TV, represents a staff writer. I feel so silly for thinking it meant someone who edited the stories.

So far the posters have been story editor Amy Berg, who wrote tonight’s episode (which I have yet to see, but it’s waiting for me) and who offers some interesting insight into the writing process; creator Bragi Schut, who talks about the genesis of the show; and producer (hey, look at me, I know that means writer, too) Andre Bormanis, who talks amusingly about the aliens on the show.

It’s not hard hitting stuff, but for the casual fan, it’s a great peek at the process behind the product. Oh, and CBS calls it a blog, but there’s no ability to comment on the posts. Still, cool idea.

I’m not completely sold on Threshold, but watch it when I’m home and remember, largely because of the magnetic Carla Gugino and Peter Dinklage, as well as the vaguely X-Filesish nostalgia it inspires in me. I recorded it tonight for the first time after the blog both reminded and intrigued me. Marketing 101. Beautiful.

(Cross posted to Blogcritics.)

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2 Responses to Threshold writers get blogging

  1. DMc says:

    Actually, there are a whole bunch of titles in TV that all mean “writer.” You’ve probably seen most of them. Generally the order is:

    Staff Writer
    Story Editor
    Executive Story Editor
    Co-Producer
    Producer
    Supervising Producer
    Co-Executive Producer
    Executive Producer

    …i may have missed a few along the way. generally in a system where people who run shows come up through the writing ranks, all these titles are are markers of more experience,and more money. Sometimes more responsibilty, too. IE: a staff writer only works on their own scripts, a story editor rewrites the staff writers, a producer or co-producer might find themselves with more responsibilities with casting and whatnot..maybe editing.

    The showrunner will almost always be someone with an Exec Producer title. Sometimes if you have someone whos got a special deal you’ll see consulting producer. “Produced BY” is not a writing credit– it’s generally the line producer who actually gets stuff boarded, arranged, and shot.

    In Canada, where for laziness and ignorance the showrunner system is not fully adopted, and the girl or guy in charge is generally not a writer, or someone with a writing background–the titles get woolier. Story Editor might be someone way more senior. you may see the title “Head Writer,” which you only see on shows like Conan, SNL, or Letterman in the States….but in the USA, the titles and positions posted above generally apply.

  2. Diane Kristine says:

    Thanks Denis! That clarifies things. And it’s good to know that the editors might actually do editing, too. (I gotta put in a plug for your post explaining the difference between the American, British, and Canadian systems, now: Room vs. The Auteur vs. The Proddie)

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