The aftershow genre is drawing more networks eager to offer fans more exposure to their favorite hit series — and on more platforms, too.
Network executives said aftershows — the best-known of which is AMC’s live post-The Walking Dead panel show Talking Dead — are a relatively easy way to create original content that serves the big audiences for hit shows, especially in the fantasy and sci-fi realms, at a fraction of the cost.
Syfy is the latest network to dive in, launching a weekly Tuesday night podcast to support the second season of time-travel drama series 12 Monkeys, which launches tonight (April 18). The Talking Monkeys podcast, to be made available at Syfy.com and in the iTunes Store, will feature series creator and executive producer Terry Matalas and cast members discuss the show’s most recent episode.
The goal of Talking Monkeys is to reach 12 Monkeys fans online, Matthew Chiavelli, senior vice president of Syfy Digital, said.
“The 12 Monkeys audience has proven to be ravenous consumers of any of the ancillary digital content that Syfy has created since the show’s premiere last year -- so we saw this as an ideal series to launch a podcast,” Chiavelli said. “12 Monkeys, being a multilayered show with deep, rich storytelling, is perfect for this medium that allows for longer-form discussion.”
Talking Monkeys joins several other after-show series debuting in April. AMC tonight (April 18) will air a live Talking Saul aftershow following the season-two finale of drama series Better Call Saul. The network first aired Talking Saul, hosted by Talking Dead’s Chris Hardwick, after the show’s second season premiere on Feb. 15.
Speaking of Talking Dead, AMC on April 10 launched the series for the second-season premiere of zombie series Fear The Walking Dead, a spinoff of the cable’s top rated series The Walking Dead. A week prior, the Talking Dead that followed TWD’s season-six finale averaged 7.9 million viewers (on a Nielsen-plus-3-day basis). While that was a big drop-off from the 14.1 million viewers who watched The Walking Dead, it was a big enough audience to make the series the fifth-most-watched show of the week, Nielsen reported.
Crossing platforms again, HBO tapped Grantland founder Bill Simmons to create an on demand aftershow for Game of Thrones. After the Thrones will appear on HBO Now, HBO Go and HBO On Demand the Monday after each new Sunday-night Game of Thrones episode, starting April 25.
Last Thursday (April 14) BBC America launched the first after show based on its hit series Orphan Black. After the Black features hosts Ajay Fry, Morgan Hoffman and Teddy Wilson discussing the plot hints and twists of the sci-fi series’ fourth season.
BBC America president and general manager Sarah Barnett said the aftershow allows the network to superserve its Orphan Black viewer fanbase.
“These shows have a raw, unfiltered feeling of true access to talent both in front of and behind the camera — and given how central TV is to pop culture this fuels the conversation in such an organic way,” Barnett said. “What’s more, it’s the most relevant lead out possible to follow a new episode of Orphan Black.” And, she noted, “it’s relatively cost effective.”
“It’s passion, cloned,” Barnett said, playing off the multiple cloned characters Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany plays. “It’s a virtuous circle of feeding and fueling fan love for our show.”