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Making the Second Screen a Natural for TV Viewers -- and Storytellers

Q&A With Carlton Cuse, 'Lost' and 'Bates Motel' Exec Producer, and i.TV CEO Brad Pelo

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Watching TV with a complementary second screen running at the same time is only going to become more common, according to Carlton Cuse, executive producer of "Bates Motel" and "Lost," and Brad Pelo, CEO of i.TV, who are presenting a keynote at Advertising Age's Social Engagement/Social TV Conference in Los Angeles Oct. 17.

Carlton Cuse
Carlton Cuse

We asked Mr. Cuse and Mr. Pelo three questions to preview their presentation, which will map the ways emerging tech is about to transform the media experience, touching on social TV, second-screen content and the opportunities for brands and marketers.

Advertising Age: How has recent technology already changed the TV experience? What's ahead?

Carlton Cuse: Technology has produced an incredible opportunity for storytellers, creating an environment that 's circular. In these virtual living rooms, viewers are commenting in real time and asking questions... With "Lost" we used technology as ancillary platforms for stories that we didn't develop within the show. We were able to give additional backstory of the many subplots, like the Dharma Imitative. Second-screen allows storytellers to parse out pieces of the story that normally wouldn't make it onto the show.

Brad Pelo: Five years from now we will look back and the second-screen technology that is currently in place will look crudely rudimentary. In the next one to two years there will be lots of experimentation and in five years we will have a solid grasp on what's working, the same way we now know how to use social media that we didn't when Facebook first started.

Ad Age : How will viewers use co-viewing apps?

Mr. Cuse: It will be very natural and a great opportunity for networks to drive audiences to the initial broadcast. Viewers will want to be part of the social aggregation around the second screen, but you can only really get that experience when the show is live. Second-screen apps could make appointment viewing relevant again. To get the maximum experience, you need to tune in when the show premieres. This will ultimately benefit networks and advertisers. It will make the totality of that hour more valuable than just throwing out content. It will feel natural in the future for viewers to be able to be more involved in content and make choices they couldn't before.

Ad Age : What's one of the coolest things you've seen a marketer or media company do recently?

Mr. Pelo: Is it OK to self-promote ? When Nintendo Wii U launches it will be the first touchscreen, handheld device designed to stay in the living room and connect all other content devices. All the linear TV and over-the-top sources will play on the console. This will be one of the devices that sits in people's laps while they watch TV. It will act as a remote control and source of discovery. Nintendo Wii U will be a device they didn't know they needed.

Attend Ad Age 's Social Engagement/Social TV Conference on Oct. 17 in Los Angeles to hear more from Mr. Cuse and Mr. Pelo as well as Twitter's new head of TV, Facebook's head of entertainment and media, marketers, startups, networks and agencies.

Learn more about the speakers and five other great reasons to attend right here.

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