After the success of Mr. Robot’s first season and witnessing the show’s passionate, engaged and growing fan base, USA Network wanted to find a way to amplify the overall fan experience for season two. The series, which is known for its layered plotlines and complex character evolutions, naturally lends itself to in-depth water cooler discussions, often online and via social media, after each episode. In order to leverage the fans’ and critics’ desire to talk about and analyze the show, USA Network partnered with The Verge—a tech-focused site and one of the leading digital voices on the intersection between technology and culture—to launch the Mr. Robot Live Digital After Show Hosted By The Verge, a live-streaming after show, for season two.
The Mr. Robot Live Digital After Show Hosted By The Verge features a cast and creator roundtable with journalists from The Verge, series influencers and celebrities. Hosted by Nilay Patel, Emily Yoshida, and Russell Brandom of The Verge, a top authority on technology and culture, each episode offers an in-depth discussion about the most recent episode of Mr. Robot from both an artistic and technological perspective. In addition to providing their own opinions and analysis, Nilay, Emily, and Russell host cast and crew members from Mr. Robot to get the insiders’ perspective on the biggest moments week to week. The Verge team also breaks down just how real and imminent the various hacking and cyber-security techniques are in each episode. True to the spirit of hacker culture, the after show hosts an IRC chatroom- a forum that hackers actually use to communicate- that allows fans to post questions, comments, vote in polls and interact with the show’s hosts in real time during the webcast. The hosts refer to the chatroom and the fan social conversation throughout the live stream, allowing the fans to influence the show in real time.
The Mr. Robot Live Digital After Show Hosted By The Verge streamed on Facebook Live as well as on USANetwork.com and The Verge immediately following new episodes of Mr. Robot, starting with episode 203, and ran throughout the rest of the show’s second season.
USA Network deliberately chose to live-stream this after show because of the nature of the series and characteristics of the show’s core fan-base. For a show that centers on a cyber-security engineer recruited to join an underground hacker group, and a fan-base that is extremely active online and particularly on Facebook, streaming the digital after show on Facebook Live was a great fit. Additionally, Mr. Robot is widely hailed as the first show to really get hacker culture right, so by live streaming the after show—and using an IRC chat as a forum for fan participation—USA Network could stay true to the spirit and tone of the series.
The Mr. Robot Live Digital After Show Hosted By The Verge delighted and energizing the show’s vocal and passionate audience. Fans loved the engaging, in-depth show analysis and behind-the-scenes insights and would swarm to social media to continue the conversation before, during and after the live stream. The live streaming after show effectively helped amplify the overall Mr. Robot fan experience for season 2 and deepened the connection between the viewer and the series.