E4.com Goes Live with Made In Chelsea

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Some time ago, Channel 4 tried to create an ongoing narrative between reality TV characters and online audiences via a series called Notting Hill. It was a brave experiment, but ultimately didn’t really work and became the subject of many media industry panel debates.

On Monday, C4 dipped its toe in the water again. This time it headed for a different part of London and took a different approach.

In the new set-up, E4.com decided to broadcast live from a champagne bar on The Kings Road in support of its reality TV show Made in Chelsea . Starting at 11pm, fans of MiC were able to submit their questions to be answered straight away by cast members and friends.

Described as a first for Channel 4, the live chat event was interspersed with clips from the latest episode as well as sneak previews of next week's episode. To keep the format fresh, the cast had only just seen the last episode and were seeing next week’s clips at the same time as the audience watching on E4.com.

Thom Gulseven, online producer, commented: "Straight forward clunky web chats are old hat now. This is the next level, combining the glitz and glamour of The Kings Road with a real chance to chat to Made In Chelsea cast members."

Live In Chelsea is a Social Media Factory production, working with Monkey Kingdom and using the Showcaster platform from Orca Digital. Social Media Factory’s Peter Cowley (a veteran of the TV-to-web world) added: "Live From Chelsea seeks to harness the social chatter around a show like Made In Chelsea and package it in to a broadcast quality show, made for the web and social media."

Fundamentally, this is the difference between MiC and Notting Hill. While the latter tried to build a social buzz from the ground up, MiC has waited until audience interest in the show’s cast is high before trying to harness it and channel it into some kind of online activity.

[Note: The Social Media Factory was setup as a next generation social media agency by Peter Cowley and Matt Campion to focus on “commercialising conversations in entertainment”].