A Murder Mystery via Social Media – The Viewers Pick the Killer

Alan Belniakmedia, Social Media8 Comments

Choose Your Own Adventure

CBS is trying something new – new for TV, anyway.  On January 14, 2013, CBS is airing Hawaii Five-O – with a twist.


According to CBS:

“[Hawaii Five-O] will become the first primetime drama to allow viewers to choose the ending of an episode in real time. In the episode, the Hawaii Five-0 team investigates the death of an O’ahu State University professor. His boss, his teaching assistant and a student who he busted for cheating are all viable suspects. After each suspect’s motives are revealed, viewers will be able to choose the culprit, any of whom could have committed the crime.”


I think this is a pretty awesome idea!  Many people now are watching TV with a companion device (known to many as the “second screen”).  So why not take advantage of that?  If people are viewing these devices, then they are likely missing some of the content on the TV screen.  Broadcasters are smart to put some content there and retain the share of eyeball.

I also think this is great because it lets the watchers/users actually participate in the experience, in real time.  The votes choose the ending of the show.  Aside from talent shows on TV with interactive voting, this is really a great way to get the voice and sentiment of the viewer factored into the program.


This will likely be good for ratings (watching the hashtag trends will be a decent indicator), but also good for the viewers.  They get a say in what they see on TV.  This reminds me of some of my favorite books as a kid – the Choose Your Own Adventure books.


I hope to see more TV broadcasters do things like this.  The medium of TV needs to evolve and be a bit more innovative, and they need to factor in the voice of the customer.


Do you watch Hawaii Five-O?  Will you be voting?  Or, do you think this is a lame idea?


image: Joanne’s childhood book collection FTW (via Jeff Van Campen) – CC BY-NC 2.0


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