Twitter TV takes over primetime

As if Twitter has not completely permeated American society, CBS is continuing the tweet-fever by announcing it will turn another Twitter feed into a sitcom.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, CBS will turn the popular “Shh…Don’t Tell Steve” feed into a new show, possibly to serve as a companion to the network’s “Bleep My Dad Says,” another show based on a Twitter account.

“Shh…Don’t Tell Steve” will draw parallels from the idea created by the Twitter feed, which chronicles a guy who secretly tweets the actions of his drunken, jobless roommate. It is reported that Ashton Kutcher will serve as an executive producer for the show, which is appropriate considering that Kutcher utilizes Twitter efficiently by garnering 5.8 million followers for his own feed.

But if “Bleep My Dad Says,” which premiered last week, is any indication of further Twitter-based shows, then you should save your anticipatory tweets for a better trending topic.

“Bleep My Dad Says” is another show based on a wildly popular Twitter feed of the same name; that is, the same except without the network censorship of a certain “S” word at the beginning of its title. The premise of the show is exactly as the name suggests, centering on a dysfunctional relationship between a foot-in-mouth father, played by William Shatner, and his return-to-the-nest son.

While the promise of wild antics spouted by Shatner sounds promising, the show falls short of what is expected from a crudely candid Captain Kirk. “Bleep My Dad Says” is chock full of so many formulaic TV clichs that it can be simplified as “Bleep Every Other Sitcom Says.”

What should be the show’s saving grace, the usually hilarious Shatner, fails to produce a memorable performance despite his familiarity with such a quirky character. Shatner’s portrayal of Denny Crane in David E. Kelley’s successful show, “Boston Legal,” easily could have served as inspiration for both Shatner and the producers of “Bleep My Dad Says.” Instead, the audience is left with a forced and dry portrayal where Shatner very often struggles in the simplest delivery of his lines.

CBS may have taken a bold step by halfway naming one of its sitcoms with a word that means pretense, nonsense or even worse: feces. But in this case, the risk was not calculated, as we are left wondering if such a word is strikingly appropriate for the content of “Bleep My Dad Says.”

The verdict is still out for “Shh…Don’t Tell Steve,” but if the current variety of Twitter-based show serves as prophecy, “Shh…” may suffer from similar name-based problems by keeping critics and audiences quiet.