spice-girlsCould Twitter save the stale summer rerun? Television network Fox is hoping that the popular social media will bring new life (and additional viewers) to repeats of the shows Fringe and Glee.

During this week’s repeat episodes, Fox will broadcast live tweets from producers and actors, both on the shows’ respective Twitter accounts, and scrolling on the screen throughout the episodes. Think Pop-Up Video for the techno-savvy masses. Those who want to become even more immersed can tweet questions directly at the shows’ stars. Just don’t ask Joshua Jackson whatever happened between Pacey and Joey.
This isn’t the first time passive and active media have come together. CNN’s inauguration coverage featured live status updates, and other shows (especially the MTV reality variety) now take live text question and comments. But these “tweet-peats” as Fox has dubbed them, may be the first time a major television network has attempted to incorporate Twitter directly into one of its popular shows.

The idea seems great for the already-loyal viewer — for those dying for tidbits about backstage gossip or hints about the new season. But repeats are also about bringing in new viewers, those who missed the show the first time around. And trying to become immersed in the lives of budding high school performers while an anecdote about the tricky harmony in Don’t Stop Believin’ scrolls across the screen seems a bit distracting to me.

The Twitter feeds will air during the rebroadcast of the season finale of Fringe on Thursday at 9/8 central and during the rerun of Glee’s pilot at 9/8 central Friday. The tweets can also be followed directly @FRINGEonFOX and @GLEEonFOX or at each actor or producer’s personal page.