The Power of Twitter
[update! Jamie Denbo, aka Beverly, has just added a personal note to this post for all us _flossers. See below...] In case you doubt the power of the bird, here's a refreshing story that'll make you want to ReTweet with glee.
Friends of mine, Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo, are hilarious comedians who have made a name for themselves around Los Angeles as Ronna and Bev, two middle-aged Jewish women from Bastan who say the most inappropriate things and somehow get away with it in a style that Larry David only wishes he had.
Some moons ago, they pitched a show based on their characters to Showtime, who ordered a pilot. The pilot was shot, but then ultimately dropped before it ever reached the cable waves. (Sadly, par for the course for the majority of pilots, even the good ones, which this is.)
Then, suddenly, Showtime announced that, for tax purposes, it had to air the canned pilot before the end of the year. (?!) And so, last week, in the days preceding the (cough) "premiere", Chaffin and Denbo enlisted their Twitter followers and Facebook friends to help spread the word about the show, figuring, if enough hubbub was made, another network might order a season's worth of episodes.
This is where the social media buzz gets interesting. From a piece today in the WSJ:
They reached out to friends they had made during their years on the New York and L.A. comedy circuit, including "Juno" writer Diablo Cody; "Daily Show with Jon Stewart" alums Rob Riggle and Rob Courddry; and Mindy Kaling, an actress/writer/producer on "The Office." All four tweeted about the show, enticing people (Kaling alone has over a million followers on Twitter) to watch or record the episode. On December 20 and 21, "Ronna and Beverly" became a cause cÃ©lÃ¨bre on Twitter with people like "The Office" co-star Rainn Wilson (who has more than 1.7 million followers) and Time magazine contributor Joel Stein (over 1 million followers) piping in. After the show aired, Twitter as well as the IMDB page for "Ronna and Beverly" filled up with mostly positive reviews and calls for Showtime to reconsider.
In case you missed the original airing, it goes on again tonight at some silly hour (like 12:07 1/2 am or something) so check your Showtime listings and BE SURE to TiVo it. With all the media attention it's receiving, you can bet you'll be part of a winning movement to get the show on the air.
Read on for a personal note from Jamie Denbo to all you _flossers:
"I have always trusted the audience more than most of the upper execs who make these kinds of greenlighting decisions. And in this case, the audience has spoken and is still speaking. It would appear that smart people and smart audiences like Ronna & Beverly. No matter what happens, we will always have that. Thanks for the support everyone! Beverly owes you a big, wet, sexually inappropriate kiss!" - Jamie Denbo
And if you want to follow them on Twitter: @JamieDenbo and @jessicachaffin. You can also Fan them on Facebook here.