The Tweeting TV Exec Who Will Answer All Your Questions

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 4 2011 9:32 AM

Follow Friday: A TV Exec Who Talks Back


Twitter is both a blessing and a curse for television. On the plus side, it can turn a lonely couch-bound activity into an interactive social experience. It can also make a hermit like me feel better about my social life—how can it be uncool to stay home on weekends if so many smart people are tweeting from their sofas?

June Thomas June Thomas

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

The negatives? 1) Precious TV-screen real estate devoted to #hashtags and 2) for those west of the Mississippi: spoilers.


But the most interesting thing about Twitter for a TV fan is the way it breaks down barriers between us viewers and those who make TV happen. The writing rooms of shows like Happy Endings and The Good Wife and showrunners like Community’s Dan Harmon and BonesHart Hanson use Twitter to offer glimpses into the process of creating a show. Further inside information is offered up by staffers at trade magazines like the The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

My favorite inside-TV tweeter? Ted Linhart, aka @TedonTV, senior vice president of research at USA Network.

@TedonTV is a company man through and through, and he’s prone to serving as a human clock, counting down the hours to new episodes of USA shows like Psych, Covert Affairs, and Burn Notice. He also retweets insightful fan responses such as: “BEST. EPISODE. OF #PSYCH. EVER.” But what sets Linhart apart from other tweeting TV types is his willingness to answer questions.

These can be queries about USA shows—filming locations, schedules, etc.—or about television generally. He’s especially informative about  ratings (his day job involves “overseeing qualitative and quantitative research” for the USA and Cloo networks), but he’ll also share his thoughts on syndication or his favorite books about television.

At first, I was reluctant to bother a network executive with my idle inquiries. But he’s so quick to respond, it seems he genuinely enjoys talking television with strangers. Now, whenever a question pops into my mind, I’ll fire off a tweet to @TedonTV. Unlike my friends, he actually knows what he’s talking about.


The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Is It Offensive When Kids Use Bad Words for Good Causes?

Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data


The Real Secret of Serial

What reporter Sarah Koenig actually believes.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Oct. 23 2014 3:55 PM Panda Sluggers Democrats are in trouble. Time to bash China.
Business Insider
Oct. 23 2014 2:36 PM Take a Rare Peek Inside the Massive Data Centers That Power Google
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM What Happens When You Serve McDonald’s to Food Snobs and Tell Them It’s Organic
Oct. 23 2014 4:36 PM Vampire Porn Mindgeek is a cautionary tale of consolidating production and distribution in a single, monopolistic owner.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.