Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Will The Web Become the New Testing Ground For Pilots?

Would you rather watch an old episode of Lou Grant on Hulu or a new episode or webisode of Gemini Division? If either shows huge interest will it lead to a show on broadcast or cable TV? It seems renewed interest in Lou Grant might just lead to a remake. Heck NBC is giving us Knight Rider AGAIN. But it could also be the place to try out concepts, test characters, gain consumer insights and build interests in brand new series like Gemini Division, N, Sorority Forever, and many others.

What sounds familiar is that shows are being built around sponsors. "Over at the product placement is the product in “Stephen King’s N.,” a 25-episode series that serves as a teaser for a new short-story collection from Mr. King. (A combined effort of CBS, Simon & Schuster and Marvel Entertainment". And Gemini Division promotes a series of ads for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system. In the Golden Age of Television, those shows had sponsors, too. And they were just as blatant. It is the ad dollars that pay the bills/

So will we see these shows pop up on network TV later in the year. Quarterlife tried but failed miserable. Still a good concept, well executed, with marketing promotion around it could prove successful. Only time and money behind it will tell.