With a little more than 70 tweets with 140 characters or less, over a period of about 3 months, 29-year-old Justin Halpern has numbers on his side. Halpern, a senior editor for Maxim.com, has earned himself over 700,000 followers on his Twitter feed for his musings from his 73-year-old father, titled Shit My Dad Says. But can Halpern's online attention translate into offline success?
Halpern had lemons and made lemonade. Back in August, after moving from L.A. back home with his parents in San Diego, Halpern launched the Shit My Dad Says Twitter feed, and began posting near daily doses of statements and observations from his father, Sam:
"You need to flush the toilet more than once...No, YOU, YOU specifically need to. You know what, use a different toilet. This is my toilet."
"Your mother made a batch of meatballs last night. Some are for you, some are for me, but more are for me. Remember that. More. Me."
The charming wisdom of a seemingly uncensored old man, you get the idea. Back in September, only a month after the first tweet, Shit My Father Says landed a book deal with HarperCollins' It Books imprint. That already could be considered quite the success. But now Variety reports that CBS has ordered a script for a sitcom inspired by the popular Twitter feed.
Will and Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan will be exec produce the The Warner Bros. TV project. Halpern, will write and co-exec the script with Patrick Schumacker.
CBS says the Shit My Dad Says title will have to be changed for TV. Obviously, but they should be worrying whether or not the built in following will translate into actual viewers. Or, whether or not the 140 characters can translate into more fleshed out 3 dimensional characters. Sure you can get people to read a funny couple of sentences every other day or so, but getting them to tune in for half an hour is a different story.
We're bound to see more and more of this. It was only a matter of time before networks started turning to Twitter for original ideas... we all know they're hard up for them. I'm rooting for Halpern though, he's got a wall to climb. He'll have to round out some other characters, his often mentioned brother with a baby perhaps? Going from merely quoting your dad, to trying to make that into something funny week to week... you're gonna need a whole lot more than 140 characters.
What do you guys think of CBS turning SHIT MY DAD SAYS in to a sitcom?