We all know that feeling of watching a great show and wishing a friend was there to sort through plot lines, analyze the characters and imagine what might happen next. For fans of MASTERPIECE’s new show Sanditon, WGBH’s Drama After Dark, a live weekly webseries that airs on Sunday nights immediately following the show, provides exactly that kind of post-show scoop.
Hosts Jackie Bruleigh and Andrea Wolanin, Digital Marketing Manager and Senior Producer for WGBH Digital, respectively, serve up carefully researched tidbits, irreverent banter and quirky observations. Special guests — from MASTERPIECE producers to the TV critic for The Boston Globe, for example — are a frequent bonus. Drama After Dark launched last year during the final season of Poldark. The show — which is broadcast live on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — brings more of MASTERPIECE’s online fans to the WGBH brand, says Wolanin.
“Drama fans are super engaged,” says Bruleigh. And the numbers show that those fans are looking for more interaction: episodes of Drama After Dark typically have upwards of 2,000 views. “We’re always looking for fans to write in and tell us what they want to see more of,” she adds.
But an after-show that caters to die-hard fans takes work. Bruleigh and Wolanin spend hours preparing for every episode of Drama After Dark, so that they can answer viewer's questions and provide insights about the time period, costumes, customs, and characters. And the show also requires some late nights: the show airs around 10pm, leaving the hosts and their production team working late into the night on Sundays.
“We watch every episode at least three times [before it airs] and come up with specific themes that we want to discuss and specific moments that we want to highlight,” says Bruleigh. “There’s always something we didn’t catch the first time around."
“We don’t have a script, but we do have talking points,” Wolanin adds. “Plenty of what we say is completely off-the-cuff. That's part of the fun!”
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MASTERPIECE's Sanditon debuts its eight-part series on Sunday, January 12, at 9pm with Episodes 1 and 2. Written by Pride and Prejudice screenwriter Andrew Davies, Sanditon features an array of fascinating characters who converge on an up-and-coming English seaside resort in the early 1900s and play out a lusty, modern tale of drama and unlikely romance.