expands shows for TV’s new Golden Age

TVTalk team Abba Abbattista, ceo Stuart Crane, RC Saint-Amour

TVTalk team Abba Abbattista, ceo Stuart Crane, RC Saint-Amour

 “It’s a new Golden Age of television,” Rob Reiner proclaimed to Stuart Crane, founder of the new TVTalk Network , when he ran into the All in the Family classic TV star. Of course Reiner is now an acclaimed feature film director, but he acknowledges his television roots and praises all the great shows on the air nowadays.

  At that chance meeting, Reiner was happy to hear about Crane’s idea to expand the experience for fans to enjoy their favorite shows with special mini-talk recap shows. produces shows (way better than ordinary podcasts) for about 50 of the most popular programs on the air. They’re like the after-show that has been very popular for The Walking Dead called Talking Dead. And Breaking Bad had Talking Bad.

 Crane has a love of shows like that in the TV universal, and he gathered his TVTalk team for a Hollywood power luncheon meeting at the trendy Boa restaurant on Sunset. Reality contestants Roberta “RC” Saint-Amour from Survivor, and Mark “Abba” Abbattista from The Amazing Race were there, because they are hosting their own 20-minute talk shows for TVTalk. RC gives a great insiders’ perspective on Survivor, and Abba reveals all the details fans want to know about The Amazing Race.

 The 50-plus television programs that TVTalk has chosen to produce talk shows for this fall have an average nightly viewership of over 7,000,000 people. The professional broadcasts go out after an episode has aired, and not only give a recap of the program but also juicy tidbits and allows the fans the opportunity to submit “talkback clips.”

 “It makes TV interactive and fun. The shows can be seen on the TVTalk website, iPhones, Android and other mobile devices by downloading the app,” Crane said. And there’s been a recent announcement about it joining Clear Channel’s streaming audio service iHeart Radio.

 TVTalk debuted at the start of the Fall TV season, and is now the world’s largest podcast network. “Each program is designed to give fans a reliable way to feed their appetite for information around the TV shows they enjoy most. It serves to keep those fans more deeply engaged on an ongoing basis,” Crane said, explaining the TV Talk podcasts are produced and published within hours after each new TV episode airs, and are available for listeners in plenty of time for morning commutes.

 It’s interesting to talk to an entrepreneur like Stuart Crane, learning how to take an idea and make it work. Crane’s sort of a Mark Cuban kind of guy, because he started in the software business 22 years ago building a hugely successful enterprise, which he then sold. Now Stuart’s business experience and financial resources have allowed the TVTalk Network to be built with quality in mind. There’s a great team of hosts providing context and insights into the shows that nobody else can offer, such as Mark “Abba” Abbattista, the go-to expert for The Amazing Race.

 “As a former contestant on The Amazing Race, I had the first-hand opportunity to race other teams around the world. I saw the world in a way few ever have. I raced other teams for flights in exotic airports and I checked in on the mat with Phil,” Abba described to me. “Hosting TVTalk lets me share that Amazing Race experience with fans of the show, and allows me to offer my perspective on what’s really happening.”

  Crane reported, “As television shows continue to embrace and use social media to further viewer engagement, the second screen has become an essential part of the television fan experience. But given the immediacy of Twitter and Facebook, they almost exclusively drive the discussion during the air time of any given TV show. TVTalk helps to keep fans engaged in between airings.”

  Tune in and enjoy the new Golden Age of television. #

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.