Nonetheless, what proceeded to unfold was truly exceptional. For the first time that I can recall, I saw people grouped together, watching a television program and interacting -- not only with each other, but with the content, as the "story" of these two adversaries unfolded before them.
Understand, we were in a higher-end restaurant with a separate bar area that happened to have two gorgeous plasmas hanging off beautiful mahogany walls. These were patrons, staff and people who saw the crowd and popped in to see what was happening. And then it struck me: The reason why this was happening, why these viewers were like moths to a flame, was not because of the debate itself. It was because they were personally invested in the people, in the topics, in the outcome. They were yelling, talking back, calling friends, laughing with each other.
With that said, here is a challenge: which television programs are you that invested in? Why? When you can answer that, maybe, just maybe, that will help build a base for *real* interactive programming.