Based on the early buzz, TBS likely has its first original series hit on its hands in Angie Tribeca, a Steve Carell-created and Rashida Jones-starring police comedy that premieres tomorrow. The show has been compared (favorably) to 1980s slapstick films Airplane and Police Squad and will feature major guest appearances by Bill Murray, Lisa Kudrow, and James Franco, among others.
To capitalize on the anticipation – and on modern viewing trends - TBS will be airing all ten season one episodes tomorrow in a 25 hour binge-a-thon. The network will then begin to show season two episodes weekly beginning January 25.
Ahead of the #TribecaBinge, the Angie Tribeca social team has been working to prepare viewers for a day glued to the couch. The team will be offering “Binge Tips” throughout the binge-a-thon and Twitter fans discussing the show are getting back customized video content with profile pictures integrated into show clips; during the airing, TBS will also integrate on-air fan questions posed by social influencers @TheGabbieShow and @AlxJames10 in a Facebook Live "Interrogation Room.”
Select superfans received "binge boxes" with gift cards, a blanket, eye drops and even an adult diaper so that they never have to leave the couch.
For more on Angie Tribeca, its innovative windowing strategy, and the social and digital activations for tomorrow’s binge-a-thon, we spoke with TBS’s evp of original programming, Brett Weitz:
Found Remote: Airing all 10 episodes in a "binge-a-thon" is a major departure from TBS's usual strategy. Why decide to do this now, and for this particular show?
Brett Weitz: Our goal is to take TBS into a new direction. Not only with the shows we are programming, but the way we are programming them. This show lends itself to this type of viewing because it takes itself so serious. We wanted to give the consumer an experience that also felt like it took itself a little serious as well as break through the clutter."
FR: TBS - unlike Netflix or Amazon - relies on advertising, yet you will be showing Angie Tribeca commercial-free. How did your ad sales team let you get away with that?
Weitz: I’ve had to send a lot of bottles of wine to a lot of people. Honestly, we are all holding hands with this stunt. If it works and gets the show some attention, our hope is that it will create a little more patina around the show and help us all in the long run. Ultimately this first week is a big marketing stunt and the following week everything will return to normal…at least until we do another one of these.
FR: Not everyone will be tuning in on Sunday. How does TBS plan to continue to promote the show and make the show available to those who missed it on the first go around?
Weitz: The entire season will be available for 30 days on-demand on the night of the premiere, and beginning on 1/25 will air weekly on TBS. We look at the first season as a season long marketing campaign for season two and to sustain viewership and get eyeballs to the show.
FR: What will make #TribecaBinge a success?
Weitz: I feel like if the night somehow breaks through and becomes part of conversation as something that people were excited to be a part of or were bummed to miss, that would be a success. We want people on the night of to engage in the show, tune in and participate and become part of the new TBS culture.