TV’S SOCIAL DISPARITY
FOX IS THE DOMINANT NETWORK
ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT ITS
NEW STAR, MINDY KALING, STILL
MUST STRIKE OUT ON HER OWN.
AMERICAN IDOL’S 2012 season
finale drew 20. 7 million people, its
worst ratings ever. But it caused
696,000 to comment in social media, making it not only the hottest
social finale of last season but
the highest-commented TV episode of all time. (In second place,
Pretty Little Liars drew 469,000
commenters.) And yet even during
Fox shows—the network that
receives the most social media
commentary—the actual stars are
rarely tweeted about.
WHAT MAKES MINDY KALING TWEET
ONE DAY BEHIND THE SOCIAL LIFE OF A PERSONAL BRANDING MACHINE T HE OFFICE WAS, until he left, Steve Carell’s show. And he maintains an A-list career. Mindy Kaling, who writes for the show and plays Kelly, may not have the same star power—but on Twitter, where she’s far more active than Carell, she’s rewarded in kind: She has triple the fol- lowers ( 1. 8 million versus 650,000 in July) and actively engages others (76% of her tweets include an @mention, versus 17% for Carell). Not that it’s a competition. But as networks weigh actors’ social potential, it’s no wonder she’s been given her own Fox vehicle, The Mindy Project.Th e network hasn’t assigned her social marching orders yet, but she heaps praise on Joe Earley, its head of marketing and communications. “He was the one who made New Girl available for download a week before it aired,” she says. “It was extremely smart. He knows the power of social media and how it can help a show.”
Kaling didn’t join Twitter to hawk her stuff; she was just coming up with jokes and too lazy to grab
a notebook. And she’s since decided that the best promotion is no promotion. “People don’t want to
listen to a celebrity tweeting about their charities and shows,” she says. “That’s why comedy writers
do well—we put out little funny ideas.” She took us through a day (Thursday, June 21) of @MindyKaling.
TOTAL FACEBOOK AND T WIT TER
COMMEN TS ABOUT SHOWS ON THE
TOP 5 TV NE T WORKS LAS T SEASON
; CBS ; C W ; NBC ; ABC ; FOX
NE W GIRL
Total comments: 506,591
% about Zooey Deschanel:
THE X FACTOR
% about Simon Cowell:
Total comments: 181,892
% about Emily Deschanel:
FAMILY GU Y
Total comments: 338,468
% about Seth MacFarlane:
6, 124, 117
% about Ryan Seacrest:
% about Mindy Kaling: .03
7: 35 A. M.
Seeking a Movie For The End
Of The World. So excited to see
@SteveCarell in brilliant
@LoreneScafaria’s new movie.
Kaling was lying on the floor in her
gym clothes, procrastinating. Then
she remembered her friends’ movie.
“I never tweet about something if I
really don’t like it,” she says. “I’d rather
have a friend annoyed at me than do
that, because it just feels like a lie.”
7: 58 A. M.
It’s a jog-to-Drake’s-Best-I-Ever-Had
11 times in a row kinda morning I
After going on a run, she tweeted a
nod to fans who read her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
(And Other Concerns). It had a bit
about exercising with one song on repeat. “When you listen to one song 12
times in a row you seem like you’re
getting pumped up to, like, murder
the president or something,” she says.
9:04 A. M.
Did you hear about the awesome
new Aaron Sorkin/Rihanna collaboration? it’s called “Walk That Talk”
and it is amazing you guys
Twitter followers love recognizing celebs’ interests: It’s like a formula to what
makes someone tick. Kaling says this
joke hit two big, recurring topics for her:
TV writing and urban music. “I was almost trembling with how excited I was
for this incredibly stupid pun,” she says.
And bonus: Brooklyn Decker retweeted
it. “That made me feel cool,” she says.
7: 18 P.M.
@Ken Tremendous @sepinwall and
Mike’s impression of the kid in
Amish in the City made us retrofit a
character for him to play on the
Office producer Mike Schur and TV
critic Alan Sepinwall had been tweeting
at each other, and brought in Kaling.
“Then I got into a little sentimental journey,” she says. (This is from that exchange.) As celebrities know, fans aren’t
the only ones who appreciate access.
9: 16 P.M.
Hey @JeremyBronson sorry I
screamed so much on the Transformers ride.
The writers’ computers at The Mindy
Project went down for 45 minutes, so
the team went next door to Universal
Studios. After, Kaling sent this to a fellow writer. She prefers Twitter to just
about any medium, even for personal
notes. “When Jimmy Fallon had released his head monologue writer
[Bronson] to come and work on this
show, I thanked Jimmy on Twitter. A
note sent personally is very classy, but
to say it in front of a lot of people, I
think, has an even nicer meaning because I’m acknowledging it publicly.”
9: 17 P.M.
You’ve learned Hollywood’s
most important lesson - Don’t let
@ikebarinholtz order pizza.” Matt
and I fired him
Every TV show has characters, and Kaling’s Twitter feed needs characters as
well. Her writers—especially Ike Barin-holtz (best known as Ivan Dochenko
from Eastbound and Down)—fill that
role, because she’s mostly tweeting
from the writer’s room. In this case,
she says, “Fast food is hugely important in the life of a comedy writer. All
we do is order in, and what we’re going to eat is hotly debated.”
9: 31 P. M.
Don’t worry @davidstassen your
job is safe. Wanna be writing partners with Josh Meyers?
It’s late on Thursday—pretty much
the cliff for Twitter, which a Bitly
study finds is most trafficked from
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday through
Thursday, and sinks especially hard after 8 p.m. So Kaling is free to get really
insider-ish here, joking with one of her
writers and Seth Meyers’s brother
(and Ike Barinholtz’s onetime comedy
partner—really insider-ish!). “It’s a really good medium for teasing people,”
she says, “and comedy writers love to
things at face
value on social
media. Earnestness is the