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TV show apps

May 26, 2011

TV show apps to use whilst watch the show
Some apps enhance and complement the viewing experience they allow viewers to find out more information about the show, whilst watching, My Generation “ a first-of-its-kind app that enhances the experience of watching “My Generation” on TV by providing synchronized interactive content and social media functionality on the iPad”

Reference –  Unknown. (2010). Disney/ABC Television Group and Nielsen Team to Create Innovative iPad Application for Upcoming Primetime Drama “My Generation”. [ONLINE]. Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2011].

ABC have taken this idea and created a Grey’s Anatomy app which has the following functionality.

  • The app’s Sync technology connects your iPad to your TV allowing you to participate in real time with the show
  • “Take polls and quizzes, get behind the scenes info and even unlock bonus content by interacting with the app.
  • Connect with other Grey’s Anatomy fans and chat about the episode while watching the show.
  • Virtually check-in and earn badges at locations and events in the show such as Joe’s Pub or Meredith’s birthday party.
  • You can also use the Grey’s Anatomy Sync app while watching digitally recorded episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. Not all functions will be available.
  • How it Works: No additional equipment is required as the app works by picking up the audio from the TV. All you need to do is turn on your TV, launch the app and hit the sync button to get started.”

Reference – iTunes. (2011). ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy Sync. [ONLINE]. Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2011].


This allows the viewer to interact with the tv show and provides the viewer another level of involvement in the programme.

This app uses – Media-Sync Technology, this technology has been “built on Nielsen’s new Media-Sync Platform, which allows mobile applications to automatically detect and synchronize with TV programming using Nielsen’s proprietary audio watermarks. ”Media –Sync was developed in the US in order to get TV audience figures. Viewers can’t detect the audio watermarks by electronic devices can.

Reference – unknown. (2010). Disney/ABC Television Group and Nielsen Team to Create Innovative iPad Application for Upcoming Primetime Drama “My Generation”. [ONLINE]. Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2011].

Reference – Gorham, Sid. (2010). Nielsen and ABC’s Innovative iPad App Connects New “Generation” of Viewers. [ONLINE].  Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2011].

A great thing about this app is that it still works if you have time-shifted your viewing.

The Bones tv show app “Follow along with BONES episodes LIVE on FOX! Thursdays at 9/8c Get additional information with key scenes and events in the episode as they happen on TV.
Keep your iPad on your lap while you watch Bones and participate with the live show helping to solve cases, decipher forensic speak, listen to and purchase the songs played on the show, comment with fellow BONES fans, and more. The Bones Companion is Live with the show and new every week for the rest of the season”. I don’t think this works with time shifted or recorded tv, to use this app you have to watch the channel’s live broadcast. This app has been poorly rated by users who say the Grey’s Anatomy app is much better.

Reference – iTunes. (2011). Bones. [ONLINE]. Available from:  %5BAccessed 20 May 2011].

TV show apps to use whilst watch the show on a second screen

HBO have developed an app that is an interactive viewing experience, it is used whilst watching the Game of Thrones on the iPad, using its HBO go app. Whilst watching the episode on the iPad the viewer can hear commentary from the creators, explore maps to the regions and guides to the houses, examine objects from the show for example weapons and armour, some of this content is synced with the action in the programme.

Reference: Game Of Thrones: HBO GO – Advance Preview. (2011). [ONLINE VIDEO]. Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2011].

Reference: Exclusive Interactive Viewing Experience on HBO GO. (2011). [ONLINE VIDEO]. Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2011].

Reference: HBO To Go & App Reviews. (2011). [ONLINE VIDEO]. Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2011].


TV show apps for fans no to be used whilst watching the show

Fox entertainment have developed apps for individual shows for example Family Guy, Bones and Sons of Anarchy.

“ SOA’s past and present come together in the app with never-before-heard stories, bonus materials, and SOA history…. The app is updated every Monday and Wednesday with a new story Series featuring exclusive photography, bonus materials, deleted scenes and never before seen script pages and stills right off the Season 3 cutting room floor. ” For a fan this is a must.

Reference – iTunes. (2010 Sons of Anarchy. [ONLINE]. Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2011].


Some US broadcaster are utilising second screen technology around the content of a tv show. I can see this working on shows like CSI and Dr Who that are complex and have a vast history of characters, plus news, documentaries and educational programming the British broadcasters are not doing this yet.

Addition 26th May 2011

BBC are developing an app game for the BBC4 quiz show ‘Only Connect’, there is currently a web version of this game. The app is not directly linked to the broadcast content.

Reference – Neilan, Catherine. (2011). Only Connect on iPhone and iPad. [ONLINE]. Available from: [Accessed 26 May 2011].

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