For this season of Undateable, NBC chose to do something that had not been done in decades: air every episode of a scripted series LIVE on television. This presented an incredible opportunity for digital promotion, allowing us to use Periscope to rewrite the rules of television with live streaming video. We gave fans unprecedented access behind-the-scenes, extending scenes directly onto digital platforms, and bringing fans unique content every Friday night. With Periscope, we were able to create a unique form of storytelling that broke new ground for scripted television, delighting fans and opening a new frontier in the social television experience.
To achieve our goal of providing a unique live social video experience for fans of Undateable, we chose to focus on 1) showing how each episode was made (including writing sessions, rehearsals, interviews, and more); 2) extending storytelling onto Periscope during and after each episode, and; 3) executing additional fun activations throughout the season.
Each week, fans were able to see how the show was made as the cast, producers, and special friends Periscoped almost every weekday at 7:30pm from @NBCUndateable. Content including live streams from the set, rehearsals, and writer's room, as well as pieces from the cast including Bridgit and Brent's "Singing Preview" and Ron Funches' "Favorite Things." Immediately before the show each week, we hosted a Backstage Social Lounge with a full pre-show on Periscope. This pre-show was hosted by rotating group of comedians and featured cast, writers, and special guests joining our host live in the Lounge where they interacted with the audience via Twitter Mirror photobooths and held Q&As with fans.
During the show we continued to provide exclusive content via Periscope. In many of the show's commercial breaks, Undateable scenes would continue exclusively on Periscope with extended "B" stories. One week we even worked with the show's writers to integrate Periscope into the on-air broadcast and had the cast stream LIVE from scenes while they acted. We also had social influencers appear in the background on-air – including Viners, YouTubers, and more – and they activated on social DURING the show. Meanwhile we surprised and delighted fans each week with live social contests exclusively for our Periscope viewers with payoffs including creative placement of the winners' names into the live show.
Our extensive use of Periscope also allowed us to bring fans some amazing music content, as well. Each week a major artist guest starred as the "house band" for that night's show, with big names including Meghan Trainor, Weezer, and the Backstreet Boys where they not only performed live on Periscope but also participated in our video activations with the cast. These efforts generated a significant amount of social chatter and helped bring new fans into the show.
With this season of Undateable, we used Periscope to change the rules of television by bringing fans closer to a scripted show than ever before. Fans saw all the key steps in making each episode, watched pieces of the show play out exclusively on digital platforms in real time, and received unique content every Friday night. While elements of these activations have been done with reality and award shows, this is the first time that this much real-time content has been created for a scripted series. This was all made possible because this show was aired live, which allowed us to give the audience an opportunity to interact directly with the show throughout the season.
The Cast Answering a Phone Number given out During the Show:
Writer's Room Periscope:
Live Pre-Show Periscope:
Singing Preview via Periscope: