Someone call the Fonz – Twitter’s doing TV

Steven Hodson - Author
By

Jun. 17 2013, Updated 3:56 a.m. ET

While it might only still be in the development stage the idea of Twitter doing some reality type television show has to be one of the most unique business ideas I have heard yet for the company.

According to the AP report at SFGate.com Twitter has teamed up with Reveille Productions and Brillstein Entertainment Partners to create a show that would have Twitter users become real-life stalkers players on the trail of celebrities in an interactive and competitive format.

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The producers call their proposed series the first to bring the immediacy of Twitter to the TV screen.

“Twitter is transforming the way people communicate, especially celebrities and their fans,” said Reveille managing director Howard T. Owens, who expects the new project to “unlock Twitter’s potential on TV.”

No further details were made available on the show’s format or when it might hit the air.

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Now as inane and stupid as I might personally find this whole idea of Twitter crossing over into an equally stupid and mind-numbing reality TV format there may actually be a legal battle brewing if they actually try to make the jump.

The reason I say that is Leo Laporte, the man behind TWiT (This Week in Technology), is asking folks on Friendfeed if this is the point where Twitter finally crosses the boundary into his trademarked area as far as naming is concerned

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Question for you all. I have a trademark for TWiT – first used in May 2005, trademark applied for May 2006 and registered March 2007. The trademark is in “Entertainment in the nature of visual and audio performances, and musical, variety, news and comedy shows.” http://bit.ly/HT7L0

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As Leo pointed out he has defended the trademark when it came to some of the 3rd party Twitter clients

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Up until now there’s been no conflict with Twitter. (We have sent out cease and desist letters to several companies using “twit” in their name and doing podcasts). But now Twitter is doing a TV show. The confusion between Twit and Twitter is mounting. What do I do? Defend my mark? Or let my brand be swallowed by the big guy (even though we were first by several years)? I need your advice. What does the community think?

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While I think he might already have weakened his brand by not establishing some sort of legal notice against Twitter in the first place I personally think he should at least attempt to draw a line in the sand at this point. The reaction on Friendfeed at this point; an hour into his original posting of the question has almost 50 responses, is falling on both sides of the question.

It’s not a position that I would want to be in but then the idea of Twitter coming to a TV set near me is scary enough. Not to mention (again) just plain stupid.

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