It may be harder than ever to stand out with a crime drama, but USA Network has a hit on its hands with The Sinner, which returns tonight for a second season. If you didn’t jump on the bandwagon early, Season 1is available on Netflix, and, especially if you’re of a certain age, a cast starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman should be enough.
The Sinner is a different kind of crime drama, which had fans of the first season buzzing on social with speculation and theories. This helped drive the digital team at USA to also develop a different kind of second screen experience ahead of Season 2. By joining the “The Sinner: Neighborhood Watch,” fans can connect with residents of Keller— including characters from the series— and act as vigilantes within the fictional community.
“From an online perspective, we saw that fans were not just ‘liking’ the show, they were actively talking about the show, becoming armchair detectives that would theorize and search for hints about future story points,” Jeffrey Kaufman, SVP of Digital, USA Network, tells Found Remote. “We wanted to find a way to super-serve the leaned-in Sinner audience and give them a platform where they could search for clues, uncover new storylines and feel like they’re part of the investigation. It’s also a nice steady drumbeat of content engagement for tune-in week after week.”
In addition to unlocking new storylines and clues each week, the “Neighborhood Watch” experience includes a sign-up page, archived posts, new neighbor posts and a menu, with digital easter eggs hidden throughout. And, during the season, users will receive one to two emails per week that will lead to new activations. USA worked with Digital Kitchen to develop the experience.
“For shows that tend to have audiences who are really invested, such as The Sinner and Mr. Robot, one thing we’ve learned they really respond to is extended world–building,” says Kaufman. “The opportunity to lean further in and feel like they are becoming more immersed in — and ultimately a part of — the show they love, is something that holds real value. One of our goals with this experience is to give the viewer an even deeper and fuller experience than simply watching the linear broadcast — from discovering clues and new storylines to interacting with characters from the world of the series. Bill Pullman recorded additional audio just for this experience!”