AMC Forgets Time Zones Exist, Spoils Walking Dead Midseason Finale

from the braaaaiiiins dept

When it comes to spoilers, I generally think people get entirely too worked up over them. It's not particularly difficult to keep from having shows/movies/sports spoiled for you with a minimal amount of effort. Still, sometimes there are a ton of spoilers out there that fans can accidentally come across and sometimes the producers of the show/movie do the spoiling themselves. Whichever the case, the backlash usually isn't pretty. But the reason that cable channel AMC accidentally spoiled the death of a character on The Walking Dead for a huge portion of the audience is pretty hard to stomach: people there apparently forgot that timezones exist.

What the hell is missing over at AMC that a cable television company could forget about timezones?

Brains?
So, here's how it went down. During the midseason finale, that AMC zombie show that all of our significant others' find too disgusting to watch with us, killed off Beth, a main character (See? I really don't care about spoilers). As you might expect, it created quite a buzz on social media amongst the show's fans right away. AMC, being in the business of making money off of that buzz, decided to try to capitalize on it with this Facebook status update.
In case you missed it, or thought that the image itself was ambiguous, the text at the bottom of the image read: "RIP Beth." That might not seem like all that big a deal, except that the network's Facebook pages put that post up immediately following the East Coast airing of the episode. Anyone who has followed AMC's larger hits knows that tagging along on its social media sites and website is something many fans do, which means that as folks were settling in to watch the show in the other timezones within these great United States, they already knew that Beth bit it. The backlash was apparently bad enough that AMC issued an apology. But the channel did at least have a little fun with it.
"We heard your feedback to last night's post, and we're sorry," the post read. "With zero negative intent, we jumped the gun and put up a spoiler. Please know we're going to work to ensure that, in the future, possible spoilers by official AMC social feeds are killed before they can infect, certainly before the West Coast (U.S.) broadcast of The Walking Dead. As always, thank you for watching, and keep the comments coming. We appreciate all of your support. #RIPSpoiler"
In the end, AMC's blunder really was rather stupid. On the other hand, if you're that upset at coming across a spoiler, just do what I do: avoid everything to do with a show until it comes out on Netflix and then binge watch the hell out of it.

Filed Under: social media, spoilers, walking dead
Companies: amc


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 9:37pm

    Jezebel (a Gawker sister site) just did this with a Sons of Anarchy episode:

    http://jezebel.com/gemma-sons-of-anarchy-s-best-worst-character-dies-lik-1666153323/all

    ...in the freaking title of the post not 17 hours after it aired. Commentariat not happy. Author's response?

    "Catch the fuck up."

    Commentariat generally unimpressed.

    Personally, I find this show is about stupid people doing stupid things and we are rather hate-watching this last ever season at this point, but all I did was bring up the main site page and BLAM, there is was all spoiled with no warning. Will it ruin my life? HAhahaNo. Was it a dick move? Without question.

    Will I read posts by that writer anymore after such a response? Nah. I won't be missed, but I'll have my little self-satisfactory click-denying boycott on. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:18am

    Or wait 5min to an hour and it will be on a torrent site.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ltlw0lf (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:36am

      Re:

      Or wait 5min to an hour and it will be on a torrent site.

      I kinda figured that by now, those who were really into the show were watching the East Coast feed (whether legally through Satellite or via torrent.) My sister watches the east coast feed via Satellite. Me, I couldn't care less (I'd rather play L4D2.)

      Timezones are for noobs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 2:10am

    ...and now people on the west coast understand why people in other international timezones that don't get new episodes for days, weeks or even months might be tempted to pirate popular shows rather than have them spoiled before they have a legal chance to watch them.

    But, yeah, people only want them because they're free, it's not a business model issue, blah, blah, blah...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 2:54am

    Or do what I do

    Ignore it entirely, because like nearly everything else on TV these days, it's utterly worthless garbage. Doing this leaves lot of leftover time to pursue superior entertainment, like "reading a good book" -- of which there are many.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 3:03am

      Re: Or do what I do

      Or, spending time on websites boasting about how your choice of entertainment medium is superior to others. That works as well apparently.

      Have you been over to the threads where the publishing industry is no better at intelligent thought regarding their market than the TV industry? Those are also fun.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:01am

      Re: Or do what I do

      Entertainment is entertainment. Each has it's purpose and method. To imply that one is superior to another, because it is the medium you favor, implies arrogance. I would argue there are more garbage books out there than TV shows. Or that a museum is better than a book. You get more information from one glance than from 100 pages in you so-called superior books.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      McCrea (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 8:56am

      Re: Or do what I do

      Both watching TV and reading books are passive mental engagement. If you want to train an active brain, find more active pastimes.

      Posting on a forum is much more stimulating.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pat, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:32am

      Re: Or do what I do

      Yeah... and by that ratianal, as you so eloquently showed, we should also entirely ignore comments posted on the Interwebs...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gracey (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:54am

    Personally I prefer books over TV too, although I'm not sure if I consider them a superior form of entertainment.

    "Different strokes for different folks".

    They are two different mediums. TV is noisy, and sometimes too visual, and most of the time has little of interest in mainstream shows. They get boring pretty quickly (for me anyways).

    Take the Walking Dead, okay for the first few seasons after that ... well, you get a little sick of the same old thing. Someone dies, becomes a zombie, bites someone else, then gets killed and it starts all over again.

    For people who like that sort of thing, fine.

    On the other hand, since there is (IMO) so much garbage that bores me, books are a better choice. There may be garbage books (personally I think there is "garbage" available in all entertainment mediums), but there are millions of books to choose from, while on TV, or even Netflix you are limited to what is available. Less choice, less value. A book can be free (shared, or library), while we pay for our TV privilege, with little in the way of value in return.

    If it weren't for my husband who "needs" his sports, I wouldn't likely have TV.

    There are enough things available online that for what I feel is watchable, TV isn't (for me) worth the effort or the money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      You're making the mistake of limiting "TV" to the 12 or so shows available by surfing the channels. If you limit yourself like that, then yes, a choice of every single book past or present would be better. But limiting yourself like that would be like limiting yourself to only the books available in that one aisle in Giant Eagle. You know, the one with all those children's books and romance novels. If you limit yourself to some arbitrarily small selection, you're going to have a bad time.

      I enjoy a good book every now and then, and I agree with you about the Walking Dead (a main character died? This is new?), but TV can provided just as much entertainment and stimulation as a book.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:10am

        Re: Re:

        TV can be very entertaining, there's no doubt about it. But I have yet to see a TV show (or movie) that even comes close to being as stimulating and entertaining as a good book.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But I have yet to see a TV show (or movie) that even comes close to being as stimulating and entertaining as a good book.

          And the bad ones, you can fling at the wall, or even (ie. L. Ron Hubbard) destroy it so it'll never be read again. Try that with a TV, especially an old CRT one, and you may find yourself in the hospital, or staring at your neighbor who'll be wondering if the zombie apocalypse has finally arrived.

          I don't get spoiler freaks, or suspense addicts. Tell a sports fan who won the game before they get to watch it, and they won't bother to watch the game. What? Don't you enjoy the sport, or is it all just chauvinistic your team vs. others?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Don't you enjoy the sport, or is it all just chauvinistic your team vs. others?"

            My experience with sport fans is that most of them fall into the latter camp, not the former.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Kal Zekdor (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:39pm

      Re:

      *Shrug*

      It depends on the specific content. You first need to realize that 99% of all media (including books) is crap. Acknowledge that and it becomes a matter of personal preference, not the platform.

      E.g., I prefer the Walking Dead TV show over the books, it works much better as a animated (ha!) visual medium. The directing of the show does a much better job of presenting the fear and despair than the graphic novels manage. On the other hand, I prefer the Song of Ice and Fire books to the Game of Thrones show. The books do a much better job at delving into individual character perceptions and motivations, while the show tends towards gratuitous sex and violence (which are much more subtle in the books).

      TV is not better than Books, and Books are not better than TV. They're just different.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 8 Dec 2014 @ 9:14am

        Re: Re:

        Indeed so. Books & TV/movies are very different indeed. Aside from the obvious difference of TV/movies being limited by the fact that they're visual media, there's also the huge difference that TV/movies can only really tell what amounts to short stories.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    billybroadband, 5 Dec 2014 @ 8:53am

    walking dead

    It's called human error. It happens.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 8:57am

    Spoilers let you enjoy the story

    If you know the spoilers going into the show or movie, then you can watch all the hints to see why the spoiler happens.
    Now, instead of wondering if Beth will survive, you can watch the episode to see how she dies.

    It's a little like knowing an actor will be leaving a show- you know their character will be gone, but you have to follow the story to figure out how.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:11am

      Re: Spoilers let you enjoy the story

      You're talking about the enjoyment of watching the show the second time. Spoilers deprive you of the different and unique experience of watching it the first time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:21am

    It was his sled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:10pm

    Well whoop-de-do! It's a fictional television show for crying out loud.

    "But I have yet to see a TV show (or movie) that even comes close to being as stimulating and entertaining as a good book." I agree with you TGK.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Name, 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:17pm

    Torrent Rant

    "But, yeah, people only want them because they're free, it's not a business model issue, blah, blah, blah..."

    Not sure if you were sarcastic, but here's my view on the whole torrenting thing, for what it worth, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong:

    I am bombarded every single day with the latest hit track on the radio, or the repetive Seinfeld episodes on television, and they are going to sue people for downloading stuff that is constantly shoved up our asses through the various media formats on a daily basis. WTF is the difference between me downloading a series of a television show and watching it maybe two or three times a year and them playing it in re-runs? Money? You already made your money with the sindication.

    And as far as the spoiler thing goes, thanks guys, for ruin' it for me, but at the same time, thanks for letting me know there were two more episodes left. I missed that....bastards!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:49pm

    This is just dumb ... i can go for days without knowing the results of F1 races so I dont spoil when I get a chance to watch it. Disconnect from social media or all other possible sources of information if you dont want spolers ... DER!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    djl47 (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 1:41am

    New York City

    AMC is headquartered in NYC. NYC is the center of the universe. The entire universe revolves around NYC. To the staff of AMC there is nothing outside of NYC.
    A friend of mine who organizes ballroom dance events out west has told me he gets missives from dance clubs that announce events at an address that doesn't include the city or zip code because they assume everyone knows it's in NYC.
    Or perhaps they were intoxicated by the smell of the subways ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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