Fan web site clicks with insiders

Showrunners, talent check MightyBigTV.com for feedback

NEW YORK — For years, small-screen fans have turned to the Internet to share commentary and insight on their favorite shows. Lately, however, one site — MightyBigTV.com — has been drawing attention from a different demo: Hollywood insiders.

Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting — aka Wing Chun and Sars — launched Mightybigtv.com in 1999. It quickly became the site to turn to for smart, thorough episode recaps. At last count, it boasted 300,000 unique visitors and 13 million pageviews per month.

These sometimes include showrunners and talent who check in for feedback, although not always in plain sight.

In July, “The West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin found himself embroiled in a small scandal when he logged on under the name “Benjamin” to comment on a dispute he was having with series writer Rick Cleveland.

Sorkin’s true identity was discovered and confirmed by his publicist — easily done, as he had registered using her email address. Sorkin had been posting incognito in the “West Wing” forums since January and continues to check in.

“Popular” producer Ryan Murphy was the first to capitalize on the show’s MightyBig fan base, submitting to interviews and posting messages on the boards.

Stars of “The Real World” and “Making the Band” also have checked out the site to see how the show recappers have been describing them — and how fans are reacting to them.

These summaries are sometimes so well done that they led to deals for the writers. “Making the Band” recapper Heather Cocks was discovered by MTV and now works on its wrestling reality series “Tough Enough.”

When “The Street” was set to debut on Fox last year, Darren Star’s production company checked in to make sure it would be included in the recaps — it was, and those recaps live on in the archives under “permanent hiatus,” giving them a longer lifespan than the series itself.

In its third year, the site has tried to become more discerning, shifting its focus to include programming such as HBO’s upcoming miniseries “Band of Brothers.” This season, the site plans to recap 12 fall season shows, down from last year’s 26.

“Our audience realizes that TV kills your brain, but recognize it as a real art form,” editor Bunting says.

There are no immediate plans for MightyBig to get any bigger, although execs do hope to expand into MightyBig Movies at some point.

More TV

  • Amy Powell

    Paramount Fires TV Chief Amy Powell for Comments That Spurred Complaints

    NEW YORK — For years, small-screen fans have turned to the Internet to share commentary and insight on their favorite shows. Lately, however, one site — MightyBigTV.com — has been drawing attention from a different demo: Hollywood insiders. Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting — aka Wing Chun and Sars — launched Mightybigtv.com in 1999. It […]

  • 'Breaking Bad,' 'Better Call Saul' Creators

    'Breaking Bad,' 'Better Call Saul' Creators and Stars Talk Crossover Potential

    NEW YORK — For years, small-screen fans have turned to the Internet to share commentary and insight on their favorite shows. Lately, however, one site — MightyBigTV.com — has been drawing attention from a different demo: Hollywood insiders. Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting — aka Wing Chun and Sars — launched Mightybigtv.com in 1999. It […]

  • Bristol Palin Teen Mom OG

    Bristol Palin to Join 'Teen Mom OG' Cast

    NEW YORK — For years, small-screen fans have turned to the Internet to share commentary and insight on their favorite shows. Lately, however, one site — MightyBigTV.com — has been drawing attention from a different demo: Hollywood insiders. Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting — aka Wing Chun and Sars — launched Mightybigtv.com in 1999. It […]

  • Jeanine Pirro You the Jury

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeanine Pirro Have Spat During 'View' Appearance

    NEW YORK — For years, small-screen fans have turned to the Internet to share commentary and insight on their favorite shows. Lately, however, one site — MightyBigTV.com — has been drawing attention from a different demo: Hollywood insiders. Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting — aka Wing Chun and Sars — launched Mightybigtv.com in 1999. It […]

  • The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale

    ‘Walking Dead’ Creator Addresses Andrew Lincoln Series Exit

    NEW YORK — For years, small-screen fans have turned to the Internet to share commentary and insight on their favorite shows. Lately, however, one site — MightyBigTV.com — has been drawing attention from a different demo: Hollywood insiders. Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting — aka Wing Chun and Sars — launched Mightybigtv.com in 1999. It […]

  • Syfy Debuts 'Nightflyers' Trailer at Comic-Con

    Watch Interstellar Madness Unfold in New Trailer for Syfy's 'Nightflyers'

    NEW YORK — For years, small-screen fans have turned to the Internet to share commentary and insight on their favorite shows. Lately, however, one site — MightyBigTV.com — has been drawing attention from a different demo: Hollywood insiders. Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting — aka Wing Chun and Sars — launched Mightybigtv.com in 1999. It […]

  • StarGirl

    Geoff Johns' 'Stargirl' Ordered to Series at DC Universe Streaming Service

    NEW YORK — For years, small-screen fans have turned to the Internet to share commentary and insight on their favorite shows. Lately, however, one site — MightyBigTV.com — has been drawing attention from a different demo: Hollywood insiders. Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting — aka Wing Chun and Sars — launched Mightybigtv.com in 1999. It […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content