It's not coincidental that the stars of "Scandal" live tweet during episodes. They're encouraged to do so.
When several of the show's actors recently visited New York to promote the premiere of season three, ABC made sure to book Kerry Washington on a return flight to Los Angeles that offered Wi-Fi. Other cast members had their trips extended so they could be available on the social networking site.
Joshua Malina, who plays U.S. attorney David Rosen, relishes having a presence on Twitter. He describes his tweets as "self-promotion and dumb jokes."
A few examples:
—"Okay, how do we make the old chargers obsolete?" — first thing spoken at every Apple meeting about a new product."
—"Please watch Kerry Washington tonight on Kimmel as she continues her courageous battle against underexposure!"
—"If Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian can't make it, then ... nothing I can think of."
Malina may love Twitter but he wasn't an early fan.
"My sister was an early adopter. She lives in a remote area and what I could tell used Twitter to let my parents know that she was still alive. ... I thought, 'This thing is not gonna catch on.'"
Now he admits to sometimes crafting tweets and saving them for later.
"Occasionally I'll be driving around trying to formulate," he said. "The beauty of it is the enforced brevity forces you to craft your tweets, if you're attempting to be funny to really sort of pare it down so it's just right. I will work something over and over. Other times I'll read what's going on and instantly react."
Malina has no problem sparring with people who tweet him.
"Certainly these strangers who interact with me aren't holding back. People will tweet, 'You're ugly,'" he laughed. "I also have very, very thick skin ... so I don't mind reading the bad stuff."
He even prefers the negative over the positive.
"The good stuff is in a way less entertaining to read. I mean it's nice but you know ... people who want to really go after you I enjoy interacting with. I don't think I've ever actually been offended by anything anyone has written and I sort of hope people take it in the same spirit."
Malina doesn't hold back with celebs.
"Any celebrity that goes on Twitter and spouts off as if we should care what they say is opening himself or herself up to ridicule by anyone else."
"Scandal" airs Thursdays on ABC at 10 p.m. Eastern.
Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar