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What’s more, they are heard, and often heeded, by the presenters of those programs.

Maybe it’s as simple as a cable-news show that, bannering its hashtag, invites Twitter users to weigh in on the story being reported, with their tweets unscrolling on the TV screen.

Maybe it’s as complex as teams of data miners curating what the Twitterati are saying about a TV show, from moment to moment as the show unfolds, for sharp-eyed analysis by network bosses and ad buyers.

And the tweets add up. At 10:35 p.m. Eastern time on a Sunday night last August, MTV’s “Video Music Awards” sparked a record-breaking 8,868 tweets-per-second as Beyonce finished singing and rubbed her belly, signaling she was pregnant.

Now what would Karen Scott have made of that?

I’m talking about the heroine of a short-lived 1960s NBC sitcom. “Karen” centered on a “modern teenage girl” who “by the light of television” (according to the theme song, performed by the Beach Boys) “can even write a book report.”

Today, of course, that report would be composed on a laptop or a tablet that emits its own light, while the multitasking Karen keeps her eye on her TV and tweets on her phone.

Maybe circa-2012 Karen would be following her favorite show on Twitter or Facebook.

Maybe she would log onto a specialty app for a show she likes, such as TBS’ “Conan,” whose Team Coco tablet app presents its own Twitter feed interspersed with other content unfurling in synch with the show as it airs.

Maybe she goes to a website like TweetTV, where she can find a full array of TV shows, with their respective Twitter feeds, to choose from.

Maybe she checks into sites for TV shows on Viggle or ACTV8.me, whose users can redeem the points they earn for items like movie tickets or gift cards.

And maybe she would make time for websites like Yap.tv, SocialGuide, GetGlue, Miso and BuddyTV.

In March, the Hollywood Reporter published results of a poll that found that nine out of 10 people view social networking sites as a new form of entertainment, while more than half of the respondents said social media sites are important tastemakers in determining not only what to watch, but also what to buy.

The poll, conducted by market research firm Penn Schoen Berland, surveyed 750 social network users ages 13 to 49. It found that half of the respondents post on social networking sites while watching TV to feel connected to others who might be watching.

Welcome to the era not of the bygone Must-See TV, but of Must-Tweet TV. The second screen has become its own media destination.

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