USA Network Puts Digital Games In Plain Sight Of Consumers

USA Network will roll out a multimedia gaming experience in support of its newest scripted series In Plain Sight.

The network will team with digital production company Big Spaceship to develop a “virtual online experience” around the In Plain Sight series, which debuts June 1 and stars Mary McCormack as a U.S. Marshal working in the highly secretive branch of the witness protection program (WITSEC).

The online initiative, WITSEC Confidential, allows viewers to work alongside the lead characters of the show to track down and protect federal witnesses, according to the network.

Each week users logging into the WITSEC Confidential microsite can participate in a new interactive case. Players will get original video briefings from In Plain Sight stars as well as tools by which users can use to search for evidence and conduct interviews.

In addition, USA Network has partnered with online marketing agency, electricArtists to launch a gaming application on the popular social networking Web site Facebook. Participants in the round-based game will have to guess a friend’s identity from information pulled from the friend’s Facebook profile, according to the network. 

On the mobile front, USA Network has partnered with mobile media/marketing company The Hyperfactory to offer cell phone users a chance to play U.S. Marshal. As part of the game, the mobile player must correctly answer challenging, weekly questions to keep their chosen witnesses happy and safe.

"One of the most compelling aspects of In Plain Sight is the show’s promise to offer an unprecedented and accurate depiction of the Federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC). Because this is a world with which people are not intimately familiar our challenge was how to make WITSEC, as accessible and relatable as possible for our viewers,” said Alexandra Shapiro, senior vice president, brand marketing and digital, in a statement.

“We knew digital solutions offered the easiest and most effective way to give our audience first hand experience of what its like to play the role of a US Marshal working in Witness Protection,” she added.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.