It had to happen: Fox is getting ready to introduce the "tweet-peat."
The network today will announce plans to beef up encore episodes of "Fringe" and "Glee" by inserting a continuous Twitter feed that will appear over the lower-third of viewers’ screens during the broadcasts.
It’s apparently the first time a broadcast network has attempted such a stunt, though some cable networks (including CNN and MTV) have used live Twitter feeds on-air.
Cast members and producers from the two Fox shows will be tweeting throughout the shows, offering plot commentary, behind-the-scenes dish and hints about the upcoming season. Viewers in the eastern and pacific time zones will get unique tweets; viewers in the heartland will see the east coast tweets.
Fox got permission from Twitter to use the company’s iconic branding on-air. The on-air feed will be somewhat similar to an episode of VH1’s old series "Pop Up Video," though the text flow will be virtually continuous and not sporadic, as in "Pop Up."
The first tweet-peat will feature the gang from "Fringe," who will tweet last season’s penultimate episode Thursday at 9. Executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman will tweet to both time zones, while stars Josh Jackson and John Noble will tweet live only to the east coast (their tweets will be repurposed for the rest of the country).
Then on Friday at 9, the cast of "Glee" will tweet that show’s pilot. Lea Michele, Kevin McHale and Mark Salling are set to offer up tweets to the east coast, while Cory Monteith, Amber Riley and Chris Colfer will do west coast duty.
Viewers will be able to follow the Twitter feeds online via the handles @gleeonfox and @fringeonfox, as well as via individual actor and producer handles.
"Glee" has its official premiere Wednesday, Sept. 9, while "Fringe" returns for season two Thursday, Sept. 17.
Fox isn’t the only network to trying to make repeats more appealing.
ABC often airs "Lost" repeats featuring pop-up explanations of the show’s super-complicated plotlines.