Murdoch Mysteries is a drama that airs on the CBC. It follows the story of a detective in the early 1900’s solving crimes in Toronto. The target audience for the show is people in their late twenties who are looking for content that is not is a respite from their daily activities, but can be watched in a family environment. The show is very tame in content, but runs the full gamut from potentially supernatural, to earthly crimes of passion. It’s trans-media content, is a very engaged twitter community, and a game called “The Infernal Device.”
The Infernal Device is a mixture of written, and video content that is meant to help a viewer solve a mystery. If you solved each one as it was released, you had the opportunity to attend in Toronto that would give you additional clues, and help you solve the mystery. The game is still online, and can be played through although the real world events are not happening. The game understands what hooks viewers on the show perfectly. They feel a sense of connection to the show because Toronto is a place they are familiar with or can conceive of. The show capitalizes on this by actualizing a projected connection by physically bringing people in to these spaces and cementing their relationship with it, and by extension the show.
The twitter community is also a very cheerful place, in which every one seems to have fuzzy socks and warm tea. Unlike a lot of spaces on the Internet people are very friendly with one another even when they disagree. The show helps this by curating its own feed so it is cheerful and inviting. Yannick Bisson in particular has a news feed that he seems to be on 24/7, something that could likely only be achieved by hiring someone to manage it (there is some belief that it is his daughter.) Cheerful as it might be, it is most likely an intentional replication of the shows tone. The shows goal is to pretend to be a small town drama set in the simpler days of old Toronto, and the tone of the twitter feed of the show and Yannick Bisson mirror that. It is a small community of unflappable polite people, who are most likely your butcher who had a very good reason for killing your dentist.
That the show has managed to prompt its viewers to behave like an extension of the characters in its show is remarkable. It has extended the reach of trans-media twitter in to real life, to make consumers the shows accomplices.