Can Talk Shows Survive with a Virtual Audience? Can They Survive Without Them?
Talk shows have been very different thanks to the lifestyle changes imposed on us by the government. All television is changed for that matter just slightly. While I can’t fix soap opera’s lack of intimacy issues, I can bring in a virtual audience.
If you are thinking, “But Scott, the pandemic is almost over.” I’d say you are looking at the problem wrong. Have you ever been to a live talk show taping? The security hassles are incredible. What if there is an issue with security, or another pandemic? Covid-19 is just the most recent pandemic. During the last election we had the Zika pandemic.
Our world is changing and it might be time to change with it. Even if you keep a live audience, a virtual audience can be a great addition to the show.
Since I generally work very early in the morning and shoot video during the day, I haven’t watched much day time TV. I can’t imagine a show like “The View” being nearly as cool without an audience. Sure a few people could zoom in. In the crazy land of TV I bet someone pitched putting an iPad at every seat and having everyone in the audience FaceTime their own seat.
Late Night TV
I do from time to time catch a few minutes of late night talk shows. Sadly none measure up to the great Johnny Carson or even Jay Leno. Those guys were centered and funny. They could make fun of anyone any time without making a ridiculous political statement. These days everyone apparently wants to clearly be “on a side”.
Late night talk show hosts complained incessantly about not hearing the laughter of the audience. I agree. COOLTOYS® TV isn’t nearly as fun without fan energy. We tried the chat box on our live stream. It was a failure. We tried the Q&A box and had someone reading them and giving us signals. At a social distance of course. That too failed.
Meeting an Audience
While zoom and Microsoft Teams are great tools for virtual meetings, they are failures at the virtual audience. FaceTiming more than a dozen people on iPads is crazy, but lame as well. The reason the audience is there is to feed energy to the performers. Talk show hosts are performers. If you don’t believe me, try it some time. I spent a lot of time in class at Marki Costello’s “Become a Host” program to understand the dynamics of talk.
Talking to a person and making it interesting for an audience is a lot harder than you think. One key piece is the feedback from the audience. Without live feedback energy the show lacks life. Someone in the booth pressing the applause button doesn’t add life.
Yes there is a job designing sound. Specifically sound for pro sports. The guys that sound design for the NFL do a great job. The audience sounds real. The problem is that the players and the few fans that are there know it isn’t. Therefore the fans know it isn’t.
Fan2Stage isn’t about designing sound. It is about bringing real fan energy back to the stage or the field. If you want to hear your real fans, get Fan2Stage.