[11/15/06 - 09:36 AM]
Vh1, Jack Black and Channel 101 Join to Stem Tide of 'Unacceptable Media'
The "Department" will be responsible for a website that will launch in early 2007 followed by a weekly TV series premiering on VH1 in the Spring of 2007.

[via press release from VH1]

VH1, Jack Black and Channel 101 Join to Stem Tide of 'Unacceptable Media'

'Department of Acceptable Media' to Launch on the Web in Early 2007 and Premiere on VH1 in the Spring of 2007

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 15 -- VH1, Jack Black and the team from Channel101.com have announced the first step in reforming the runaway user-generated content movement with the newly formed "Department of Acceptable Media" The "Department" will be responsible for a website that will launch in early 2007 followed by a weekly TV series premiering on VH1 in the Spring of 2007.

Jack Black, Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab became pioneers of the do-it- yourself TV movement with Channel 101, a competitive forum for digital shorts founded in 2003, anticipating the YouTube revolution by a several years. Realizing they could not stand by while the tidal wave of user-generated content threatened to overwhelm the internet, they founded the new "Department Of Acceptable Media" founded on the principle that, in Black's words, "some stuff is just not acceptable."

Harmon compared this post-YouTube era of media to the dawn of the automotive age. "There was a time when there were so few cars that we didn't even need stop signs. A handful of rich people drove where they wanted as fast as they wanted. Then came a day when so many people had cars that drivers needed to be licensed. That day has come with digital media. We are the DMV of camcorders."

The TV show "Department Of Acceptable Media Presents: Acceptable.TV" builds off the innovations of Channel 101. Each week viewers will see new three-minute episodes of six proposed TV series -- most produced by the "Department" staff, some produced by web users. Viewers will then be able to vote, via the Web site http://www.acceptable.tv, for three of those series to return with a new episode. The three with the least votes are cancelled and replaced by three new pilots the following week. All shows -- acceptable and unacceptable -- will be shown on the website. The best of these shorts could eventually grow to a full series on VH1.

"Over the years, Dan Harmon and Rob Shrab have assembled an incredible group of young filmmakers at their internet event, Channel101.com," said actor and series producer Jack Black. Channel 101 alumni include Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, who were recently brought on board Saturday Night Live, where they created the infectious 'Lazy Sunday' digital short. "They have mastered the art of the three-to-five minute entertainment power nugget. I am proud to be a producer of this breakthrough television series. This is the first show in TV history to be programmed by the audience," he continued. "For their brave choice to put this on the air, the executives at VH1 should be applauded, and then fired."

"The formation of the 'Department' places VH1 and its viewers again at the forefront of the user-generated content revolution. VH1 tapped into the online video explosion early with our weekly 'Web Junk 20' series nearly a year ago. The show found the funniest videos on the internet and shared them with our viewers -- thousands of whom uploaded their own videos to us," said Brian Graden, President, Entertainment, MTV Networks Music Group and Logo. "Now our viewers can be part of the overall development process in any way they want ... from playing TV programmer and voting online for their favorite entries to actually creating a pilot to evaluated by this community of devout television fans."

"Yes, this show will be web-savvy, viral and cross-platform compliant through 2010. You'll be able to watch it on your wristwatch, iPod or subdermal sex offender GPS unit. But honestly, it's just going to be a funny TV sketch show. You're going to be able to tune into VH1 for a half hour and get a couple belly laughs and then get on with your week. That's our goal," stated Harmon.

Users of the site will be able to do more than vote on their favorite videos. They can join the "Department" and rise through the ranks by finding quality entertainment on the web, or by making their own shows, uploading them to the site, and getting the support and votes of other users.

"The Department of Acceptable Media Presents: Acceptable.TV" is executive produced by Jack Black, Dan Harmon, and Rob Schrab. Benjamin Cooley will oversee for Electric Dynamite Productions. VH1 SVP of Films and Scripted Series, Maggie Malina, will oversee television production for VH1, along with Michael Hirschorn, EVP Production and Programming, VH1. Writers for the series include Dan Harmon (co-creator of "Heat Vision and Jack"), Justin Roiland (creator of the early viral video sensation "House of Cosbys") and JD Ryznar (creator of equally early, equally viral, and equally sensational "Yacht Rock").

VH1 will produce 8 episodes to premiere in early 2007 with its companion website, http://www.acceptable.tv to launch in February 2007.

VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 90 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital services including VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul and VSPOT, VH1's broadband channel. Connect with VH1 at http://www.VH1.com.

VH1 is a registered trademark of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.


  [november 2006]  

· CHANNEL 101 (FX)

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