Twitter-feed ghosts of TV series past

By Jeff Pfeiffer

This morning, while perusing my Twitter feed, I happened to glance over at the “Who to Follow” suggestions off to the side and noticed that the Twitter feed for NBC’s Free Agents was among the recommendations. I found this odd, since the show had been canceled last week. Why would I want to follow a feed that likely will not be updated, and which probably should be deleted at this point? I remembered a similar experience I had in seeing that the Twitter feed for FOX’s Lone Star — a show we really liked last year but that got yanked in record time, after only two episodes — was still floating around in cyberspace, not having been updated since September of 2010.

It appears that once a show is canceled, in some cases networks, in their 1984-like efforts to scrub away any traces of the program’s existence, may forget to delete the shows’ Twitter feeds, so they remain — virtual headstones to the dearly departed series, the last words of their final tweets hanging out there for us to unearth, like historians uncovering regularly kept notes and journals that have been cut off abruptly by some event long ago. And the cancellations of the shows related to these feeds were indeed usually sudden, so like the tragic ghost of a murder victim haunting a home, these series and their related tweets are doomed to roam the web, occasionally popping up to say “Boo!” and startle us into remembering them. Sometimes their final words show optimism and hope that the shows may continue; others read as if those involved have seen the writing on the wall; still others are pleas to watch the shows.

Here are a few of the Twitter feeds for now-defunct series that you can still read, along with their final, or near-final, tweets. Whether the people running the feeds knew these would be their last words about the shows or not, the notes can sometimes be telling, but often are just sad, when you realize what the ultimate outcome was. Tweets are presented [sic].

@nbcdayoneDay One on NBC; last tweet Jan. 12, 2010. “Good info for fans! I09 explains the possibilities for a future #DayOne series:”

@TheFlashForwardFlashForward on ABC; last tweet March 30, 2010. “Can you stop the next #FlashForward?” [I guess someone was able to.]

@AccidentallyCBSAccidentally on Purpose on CBS; third-to-last tweet May 3, 2010. “Sign this petition to save #AccidentallyOnPurpose! Please RT!!”

@LoneStaronFOXLone Star on FOX; last tweet Sept. 27, 2010. “West Coast! An all-new #LONESTAR kicks off in 5 minutes!” [Lone Star was canceled two days later after only two episodes.]

@MyGenerationABCMy Generation on ABC; third-to-last tweet Sept. 30, 2010. “When I say “My!” You say “Generation!” “MY!” … “MY!” … When I say “Eight” you say “Seven Central” “Eight!” … is this working?” [No.]

@RunningWildeFOXRunning Wilde on FOX; last tweet Dec. 8, 2010. “Did you catch last night’s all-new #RUNNINGWILDE?” [No, and obviously, not many others did, either.]

@NBC_UndercoversUndercovers on NBC; last tweet Dec. 22, 2010. “Tune-in to NBC tonight at 8/7c for an all-new episode of Undercovers!”

@V_ABCV on ABC; last tweet Feb. 4, 2011. “Friday Question: Do you think the FBI is going to find out Erica’s part of Fifth Column? What do you think of her new partner Chris Bolling?” [The world may never know.]

@NoOrdFamilyABCNo Ordinary Family on ABC; last tweet March 22, 2011. “New episode tonight packed with more SUPERS than ever before. #NOF”

@NBCPlayboyClubThe Playboy Club on NBC; last tweet Oct. 4, 2011. “Want more #PlayboyClub? Last night’s episode is online now!”

@NBCFreeAgentsFree Agents on NBC; last tweet Oct. 6, 2011. “Time for new marketing – well, new everything really! Re-watch last night’s new #FreeAgents on now!”

@How2BeGentlemanHow to Be a Gentleman on CBS; last tweet Oct. 7, 2011 (a retweet of a CBS tweet). “#RulesofEngagement debuts Thurs 10/20 8:30pmET/PT; #HowToBeAGentleman moves to Saturdays 8:30pET/PT beginning 10/15.” [How to Be a Gentleman was canceled four days later.]