'The Chicago Code' vs. 'White Collar': The Twar Goes Viral (UPDATED ... a Winner Is Declared!)

Today's cuppa: Fortnum & Mason breakfast-blend tea

Thumbnail image for Shawn_Ryan_White_Collar_Lobby 2-6-2011 2-21-48 PM.jpgAs Twitter followers of "The Chicago Code" executive producer Shawn Ryan ( @ShawnRyanTV ) and "White Collar" executive producer Jeff Eastin ( @jeffeastin ) know, the two have been engaged for some time in an all-in-fun Twitter war, or "twar," hurling insults and practical jokes at each other in a quest to be the first one to reach 15,000 followers and make a charitable contribution.

(HCTV has served as the unofficial war correspondent for the conflict, click here for the previous installment, which contains links to reports on earlier incidents. Photo at right shows Ryan infiltrating the "White Collar" offices on Super Bowl Sunday.)

Last Friday, Ryan indicated that the next volley -- a reaction to his "arrest" during lunch by "White Collar" cast member Tim DeKay, in his TV role as an FBI agent -- was at hand. But a problem cropped up, and Ryan's plan was delayed until today. Here is the series of tweets that announced it, rendered into three paragraphs:

Have to admit, when I started my Twitter War with @jeffeastin (pictured below) I knew very little about him, so I decided to do some research...But even now, a few months into my TWAR with @jeffeastin, I still know very little about the man...Wikipedia and the Internet provide scant details on exactly where this @jeffeastin came from and who he really is...How can someone we know so little about be handed an hour of primetime programming, to hold so much influence over American minds? The fact that @jeffeastin presents his ideas through the attractive visiages Jeff_headshot_for_twitter.jpg of Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay only makes me more suspicious. We've seen this kind of subversive wolf in sheep's clothing act before. Is it time to bring @jeffeastin out into the light?

Now, I don't have any smoking guns on
@jeffeastin . Does that mean none exist? Of course not. So how to figure out the truth? For those of you seeking context for this Twitter War between @jeffeastin and myself, check this out... (that's a link to the same HCTV post I linked to above.)

So I started to think about WikiLeaks and how successful they were at bringing secrets to light. Could we apply this concept to @jeffeastin ? What if we had a clearinghouse where people could share dirt on @JeffEastin , and once verified, be shared with the world? We will be starting small, but this will be an evolving organism, open to interactive involvement...But I needed just the right domain name for such a site. And what were the odds that the one I would want would actually be available? So I present to you the humble beginnings of what I hope will turn into something much bigger and important with your help...JeffEastin.com

Eastin responded with a tweet, which Ryan retweeted ...

@ShawnRyanTV Make an offer. RT @jeffeastin Impressed that @ShawnRyanTV got jeffeastin.com. I shouldn't have ignored those GoDaddy renewal requests.

Comments and replies from Ryan have continued, so check out Ryan's Twitterfeed for those.

As before, I shot an email off to Ryan, who kindly answered some questions about the ongoing hostilities.

Q: Where did this idea first begin?

Thumbnail image for twar-tim-dekay-white-collar-shawn-ryan-shield.jpgA: I had the idea while ago and even bought the domain name before the "FBI arrest" (pictured at left) that Jeff pulled off. My show is on hiatus at the moment, so I don't have the benefit of a staff of writers to bounce ideas off daily. I also don't have my actors around to pull off a dramatic stunt the way that Jeff did. I figured it would be fun to start a little website with Jeff's name. Something that can live on even after this Twar was over. Will also provide me a platform for quick response should Jeff strike again.

Q: What was the technical snafu that delayed your attack after you first announced it on Friday?

A: The website didn't look right on some browsers. Looked like a mish-mash. Web design, as someone on Twitter pointed out, is not my strong suit. Took a little while to get it sorted out and by the time we did, it was late on the East, so why not wait to unleash it on everyone on Monday and help generate some interest in the encore pilot episode of The Chicago Code at the same time?

(HCTV: Indeed, the pilot episode of "The Chicago Code" re-airs tonight, Monday, on Fox at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The new season of "White Collar" starts on Tuesday, June 7.)

Q: Do you plan to crowdsource most of the Jeff Eastin dirt on your site, or will some of it be generated in-house?

A: I don't expect there will be much dirt, and it's more in fun than real. We'll generate some humorous bits and see if there's anything useful in the tips we get from people.

Q: Do you have any worries about him launching a denial-of-service attack?

A: The moment he does that, I'll go after his people for impersonating Federal Agents and False Arrest.

Q: Have you registered all permutations of your own name as domains just in case?

A: I do have a few. Someone else has Shawnryan.com. I'm sure he could come up with some useable combination if he wanted to, but if he counter-attacks I anticipate it will be an original idea.

Q: You're so close to 15,000 - will you miss the Twar when you hit the milestone, or could it continue in some form? 

A: I'll miss it some, but hopefully I'll be back working on a TV show soon. Don't think I would have put this much effort into it if I had been as busy as I usually am.

Q: On Sunday, you tweeted, "So apparently the show 'Swamp People' is one long alligator snuff film." Why the heck are you watching "Swamp People"?

A: Saw an ad that intrigued me yesterday, then came upon it and thought I'd give it a try. By the time I saw the 4th alligator getting killed I'd pretty much figured out the show.


UPDATE: During the Eastern time airing of "The Chicago Code," Ryan tweeted:

Wow. Only 7 followers away from VICTORY! Thanks everyone. And all while #TheChicagoCode is playing on Fox! Nice.

Then, a few minutes later ..

Read it and weep @JeffEastin

With this picture attached:

ShawnsTwitterCount.jpg

Ryan then tweeted: I'd like to thank a worthy opponent and great showrunner, @JeffEastin for this epic battle. Feel free to follow him now.

Eastin then tweeted: I don't know how, but I accept defeat.

Then he added: @ShawnRyanTV has won the Twar.

As of this moment (7:09 p.m. PT), Ryan has 15,031 followers, and therefore must definitively be named the winner of the Twar, and Autism Speaks can expect a $10,000 donation. Eastin's charity is the ASPCA. No word yet whether he'll still make a donation, but we're checking. Will update when I get an answer.

BTW, later on Ryan reiterated in a tweet: Our agreement was winner makes a donation to charity of choice.

Fair enough.

But, Eastin later tweeted: I will be writing Shawn a check tomorrow.