TV firms plan Twitter-based reality show

Posted by Emma Woollacott

San Francisco, CA - Twitter has confirmed that two TV companies are developing a reality show based on the microblogging service, but is distancing itself from the project after complaints from users.


The unscripted show is under development by Reveille and Brillstein Entertainment, and has been described as "putting ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competitive format". The idea seems to be that participants will be able to direct the action of the show by sending tweets.


But users have jumped on this description to conclude that it involves stalking celebrities without their permission.


Twitter denied that it was actively involved in the program. "We have little to do with their efforts but we wish them success," cofounder Biz Stone said on the company blog. "Regarding the Reveille and Brillstein project reported today, we have a lightweight, non-exclusive, agreement with the producers which helps them move forward more freely."


Reveille produces The Biggest Loser, Ugly Betty and the American edition of The Office. There's no word on a timescale.


Twitter is already working with MTV on a show to be presented by model Alexa Chung, due to start this summer.


Meanwhile, Twitter has been hit by a series of phishing scams over the last few days. Messages were sent from accounts called @twittercut and @tweetcut, both of which have now been disabled. Staff are now busy helping users regain control of their accounts.