Shonda Rhimes Defends 'How To Get Away With Murder' Title But Will Twitter Still Hate It?
Uh oh. Shonda Rhimes has been called out for being Twitter-unfriendly. Because we live in a world where social media is king, it completely makes sense that some Twitter users are questioning the title of Rhimes upcoming drama How to Get Away With Murder . Why? Because it's too freakin' long for people to tweet without throwing their phone at the TV and screaming #FUShonda. (Don't even get us started on the show's hashtag: #HTGAWM.)
According to Entertainment Weekly, critics at the Television Critics Association press tour were concerned with the title, which lead to Rhimes having to defend her show:
We don’t consider a hashtag when we’re writing a title… In terms of the Twitter stuff, I feel like the audience will decide what they want to call the show. If they want to call it by its full title or if they want to call it ‘Murder’ or whatever they want on Twitter, it’s cool that way.
Good for Rhimes for sticking to her guns. The title might be more of a sentence than anything else, but it's definitely a creative break from one-word titles like Dads, Mom, or even Rhimes' own Scandal. However, the Twitter argument does bring up a valid question: Should showrunners think about Twitter when they pick a name for their show? (Yes, we know how ridiculous that question sounds.)
Twitter is where many actors and shows connect with their fans, and it's also where they promote their show, so wouldn't it be smart to make things a little bit easier for those trying to talk about said show? Sure, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters never had to deal with social media, but if it did, would the number of times it was tweeted about be lower than the number of times Doug would have been tweeted about? Probably not because we doubt people would be tweeting about either of those shows, but the question still stands. Maybe there's something to be said for shows whose titles are Twitter-friendly. But also, maybe this is the most ridiculous debate that's ever been debated. In the end, screw creative license; it's the masses they should be pandering to! JK. But not JK?
To see if there's a noticeable difference in title length and how that correlates to Twitter use, we can take a look at new data released by Nielsen in June. According to the site, which analyzed the most talked-about series on Twitter from September 1, 2013 to May 25, 2014, these 10 shows made it to the top of the list:
Based on Nielsen's data, eight out of the 10 shows have shorter titles (three words or less), and only two of them have longer titles. Because that conclusion is literally just based on one chart, this pretty much doesn't prove anything about title length and audience number, but, hey, we're sure some execs over at ABC are wondering if Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23 and How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) would have done better if they had thought about Twitter.