Must tweet TV: ABC's #TGIT and the cultural work of programming social television
US television network ABC developed their "Thank God It's Thursday" (TGIT) programming block in 2014 as a prime-time schedule composed of three back-to-back dramas produced by well-known TV showrunner Shonda Rhimes. From its initial development, ABC intended TGIT to be a three-hour live viewing event, encouraged by a multipronged #TGIT Twitter campaign. I consider the industrial and cultural significance of marketing the TGIT block of programming together as a cohesive block of social TV in order to encourage and structure audience participation in live television viewing. #TGIT's form of social television developed as a result of the rise of multicultural market research. The reemergence of serialized melodrama on network television functions culturally to commodify Black femininity in order to appeal to a transracial upscale female audience.
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