[03/18/03 - 12:00 AM]
WB Shelves 'Live,' Sets 'Shore' Start Date
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The WB has placed its ad-free summer project "Live From Tomorrow" on hold due to lack of advertising support. The hour-long talk/variety show from Diplomatic Prods was designed to incorporate products into all of its segments in lieu of 30-second spots.

Pepsi, Sony PlayStation and Reebok had all signed on as premiere sponsors for the series but Diplomatic wasn't able to find a fourth major advertiser to underwrite the show in time for a summer start date. The news will bump the project to next season or possibly even next summer. "WB is committed to the concept, but we have decided to postpone it," Diplomatic exec VP Matti Leshem told Daily Variety. "I want to get this thing right. Rushing it would be the worst thing to do."

The series is designed as an experiment to combat the growing fears of ad-skipping features provided by such products as TiVo and Replay TV. With ads as part of the programming itself, there would no way to skip them.

The Frog network still remains on track with Pepsi however for its two-hour "Play for a Billion" contest special, set to air in September. Various industry insiders are reporting Pepsi is already shooting ad spots that will run this summer, touting the special and its $1 billion prize.

Lastly, the WB has announced it will premiere its summer reality series "Boarding House: North Shore" on Tuesday, June 3 at 8:00/7:00c. The six-week series revolves around seven pro surfers living in an Oahu beach house.

  [march 2003]  


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