This post originally appeared on the Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on August 06, 2006. http://www.convergenceculture.org/weblog/
Procter & Gamble Productions' As the World Turns, the show that earlier this year launched a podcast and its own transmedia novel, Oakdale Confidential, is now the focus of an online reality show called InTurn. The show is a reality show with several potential actors vying for a spot on the screen in fictional Oakdale, Ill.
Now already on its tenth episode, the show brings eight young actors to New York City to live together and compete for a spot on the show in a 13-week role, with veterans from As the World Turns acting as judges of their acting ability. The episdoes are only about five minutes or so in length and are distributed through CBS's innertube platform for digital video distribution. There will be a total of 24 shows for the InTurn season.
ATWT stars like Scott Holmes (he's still around) and Colleen Zenk Pinter, who made the creative Tyson commercials, from the main cast will act as judges and mentors.
Accoridng to a story from American Entertainment's TheWebNewsRoom, the current set of eight actors will be narrowed down to three, all of whom will get ATWT screen time, with viewers able to decide which one will make it as the show's newest cast member.
The show's site also includes a blog from the producer.
Fans seem divided by this, some who like seeing a different aspect of how ATWT is produced and what it's like to be an actor. These people also seem to believe it's a pretty good way to offer relevant transmedia content that doesn't overlap with what's being done on the show and also that it's a good marketing tool to reach out to people who may not be that interested in ATWT but who would love reality television like what InTurn offers.
The other camp is angry that time and energy is being wasted on a reality show when it could be used instead to invest further in the fictional world of Oakdale. These people may not have necessarily been opposed to the book released earlier this year or other projects that remain inside the fictional world but see these types of programs as being irrelevant to the show.
Either way, InTurn is another innovative effort from PGP. If the show develops a following, one has to wonder whether that following will come along with the actor who wins once he or she becomes part of the ATWT cast.