Shameless & GLI

April 28, 2016

Sometimes wildly imperfect TV storylines give you an opportunity to educate your audience.

Photo: Cliff Lipson/SHOWTIME

The Global Liver Institute is a new organization committed to defeating liver disease by forming creative collaborations with seemingly unrelated stakeholders, like a traditional health advocacy organization and a television show. We were a perfect service to help them spread this message and did so by writing a blog for their audience about the different, and sometimes wildly imperfect TV storylines about organ donation.


We used two examples from shows that aired a few years prior, first because they featured organ donation stories, and second to demonstrate that content is valuable even after its initial premiere. And in an era of digital streaming and time shift watching, stories can be used anytime an organization is ready for them. In our post for GLI’s “Liver Matters” blog, we showed that organ donations increased after a viewing of the CBS show “Numb3ers.”

While that is a best case scenario, we wanted to highlight how to use an imperfect storyline, one that features an issue, but may not use all the facts an organization works hard to promote. In the show “Shameless” there is a story arc about liver disease that is accurate, but a transplant that is not. So this can become an opportunity to start a conversation about the reality of organ transplants. GLI shared the blog on their social media channels and featured it in their monthly newsletter.