[05/15/06 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Introduces TV 360 Digital Components for 2006-07 Season Giving Viewers Choice of Content on the Air, Online Or on the Go

[via press release from NBC]




NEW YORK �- May 15, 2006 -� NBC is introducing the "TV 360" digital components to its 2006-07 Fall schedule, with original and exclusive content ranging from interactive television to webisodes, all built around the network's innovative and new programming.

The announcement was made today by Jeff Zucker, CEO, NBC Universal Television Group, before the advertising community, affiliates and press at Radio City Music Hall.

"We all know the power of television to connect with viewers and have an impact like no other medium," said Zucker. "Now, we're seeing the power of the web to capture those viewers, extend the television experience and build communities and a level of engagement like nothing else out there."

Keeping with its rich comedy heritage, NBC is launching a new broadband comedy channel. DOTCOMEDY.com will create a community around one of life's universal pleasures -- laughter. Anchored by some of NBC's best-known franchises and library programs, this online channel will feature everything from classic comedy television shows to viral videos to renowned NBC late-night programming including content from "Saturday Night Live," "The Tonight Show," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," the first ten years of "Late Night With David Letterman," "The Office," "Last Comic Standing," "Dream On," "Coach," "Leave It To Beaver," "The Munsters," and much more. DOTCOMEDY.com will also feature original content produced exclusively for the site including blogs, mash-ups and podcasts.

NBC Universal will also launch a FIRSTLOOK.com franchise for each of its online properties (NBCFIRSTLOOK.com, USAFIRSTLOOK.com, SCIFIFIRSTLOOK.com, BRAVOFIRSTLOOK.com and so on). Each site will premiere up to four episodes of their respective networks' series, in their entirety, each year. It will be a first look in the digital, broadband world before ever appearing on the linear networks.

Following today's announcement of the completion of NBCU's acquisition of iVillage, NBC announced the debut of numerous new initiatives available exclusively on the popular site. NBC News' "Today" and iVillage will partner to offer women, and occasionally men, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be made over on "Today." Once per month, one lucky person will get expert advice on fashion, fitness, make-up and hair to help them achieve their full potential. Every day, women can come to the iVillage "Makeover Central," the ultimate online destination for beauty and fashion makeovers. iVillage's vibrant community of women will be able to share their best "looks" along with their favorite styles, beauty products, tips and makeover success stories. It begins tomorrow (May 16) on "Today," when they kick off the first makeover contest pegged to Fathers Day.

Another new program scheduled to launch in December is "iVillage Live." Filmed on location at Universal Studios Orlando, "iVillage Live" will be dedicated to delivering the information and advice that millions of iVillage users have come to depend upon. From parenting and pregnancy to health and beauty and style, this daily 1-hour program will air on the NBC Universal Owned and Operated stations and will be streamed live on iVillage.com.

It was also announced that "Access Hollywood" and iVillage are partnering to bring both viewers and users "Access Hollywood Celebrity Horoscopes." From Tom Cruise to Britney Spears to Steve Carell, "Access Horoscopes" will reveal what the stars predict for the stars. Weekly segments will air on "Access Hollywood" and other segments will be streamed on the newly re-designed AccessHollywood.com, as well as the iVillage-owned Astrology.com.

Additionally, NBC is now giving users a superior way to view all of this new content. Beginning this month, all of the NBC Universal web properties will be debuting a newly-developed media player giving consumers and advertisers a best-in-class experience. Designed with both in mind, it features Flash based technology, making additional downloads unnecessary for consumers, and the largest and best quality companion ad space currently available on the web. Because of the uniformity of the player, advertisers will be able to buy ads across all of our NBC Universal sites: NBC, our owned and operated television stations, USA, SCI FI, Bravo, Access Hollywood and iVillage, with access to more than 50 million unique users per month online.

More highlights of the 2006-07 digital components include:

From executive producer Greg Daniels and exclusively on NBC.com, 30 standalone webisodes of "The Office." The first set of 10, which will begin streaming this summer, star the accounting staff of Dunder Mifflin.

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" will offer viewers a new, interactive component this season. Each week, rookie detectives at home will be able to log onto NBC.com to get an exclusive detective's briefing from the captain. Once the preliminary facts of the case are known, it's up to the online detective to figure out who the killer is before the episode even airs. To find out if they've actually solved the case, players will watch the episode and compare their skills to the on-air detectives. All correct solutions will be entered into the season-end drawing for a prize.

"Heroes," the freshman drama, is suited well for the web, allowing us to build a mythology around the characters and giving viewers extra content which will be presented in an online, animated comic book. From comic book designer Tim Sale, best known for his "Batman" illustrations, the online plots will compliment the on air story and deepen the relationship between characters and audience.

From "Friday Night Lights" comes a weekly online webisode in which the coach's daughter documents the goings-on in town for the school yearbook. She will chronicle the official team events and the not-so-official parties and other events.

And from Tina Fey's new comedy series, "30 Rock," consumers can find the show-behind-the-show at NBC.com. Viewers will see the show's actual comedy sketches that appear only briefly on the air. The fictional show will exist solely online.

On the reality side, NBCU will have the premium SMS game component with "Treasure Hunters" in which viewers will have the chance to solve the on air puzzle and then compete in a treasure hunt of their own � filmed exclusively for online audiences.

"Deal Or No Deal" will return with an online competition where users submit video for the chance to be the next suitcase model on the show as well as a live blog from the infamous Banker.

"The Biggest Loser" will feature an online show featuring the contestants who didn't make it on air. They will be given video cameras to film their weekly training routines. The winner, selected by the online audience, will appear on the on air show.

NBC's late-night programming will also be expanded digitally. Beginning with "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and its completely redesigned home page, NBC will offer a number of new video features. Next season, viewers will be able to visit the "Cutting Room Floor" to watch the pre-produced comedy bits that won't be seen on-air. There will be exclusive backstage tours and interviews from "Tonight Show" personalities John Melendez and Ross the Intern. In addition, the newest video offering will be "Jay's Garage," from his actual garage in which Jay will answer car-related questions from viewers, offer automotive tips and give sneak peeks of his favorite models.

"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" will also feature a completely redesigned home page on NBC.com with many new site features and extensive video features including 200 video clips from the show as well as an original and exclusive animated series created for NBC.com, called "Pale Force."

Similarly, there is a totally redesigned site for "Saturday Night Live" which will feature a historical timeline, a searchable "SNL" database, a community message board, highlights of every "Weekend Update" in the show's 31-year history, a historical look at key cast members playing U.S. presidents and much more.

On the heels of the incredibly successful "Passions Red" webisodes, NBC Daytime has launched original, exclusive online webisodes of the next installment, "Passions Vendetta" this season. Based on the great success of the two, next year NBC will introduce an entirely online soap that will be even sexier, called "The Cove," a "Passions"-themed series that will focus on existing characters as well as newly created ones and will air in two, five-minute webisodes per week.

  [may 2006]  

· 30 ROCK (NBC)

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