The Disney-ABC Television Group announced Thursday the highly-anticipated launch of Stage 9 Digital Media.
Focused on creating original, quality short-form programming, the studio's experimental new media content premieres with the comedy series SQUEEGEES in a co-exclusive premiere on ABC.com and YouTube on Feb. 28.
Stage 9 will "bridge the gap between user-generated content and traditional production," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney-ABC Television Group.
Barry Jossen, an Academy Award-winning short-form producer and studio executive, has been tapped as general manager of Stage 9.
The studio has an active slate of more than 20 programs in comedy, drama, animation and reality ranging from traditional linear episodic storytelling to fully immersive interactive content geared toward the 18-34 demographic.
Working with emerging talent from the online community, Stage 9 is squarely focused on content creation, smartly distributing its programming through top broadband video sites, online social networks, mobile, and download services in order to maximize user accessibility and exposure.
Additionally, the studio will collaborate with the companyâs Disney-ABC International Television on global digital distribution of its content.
Jossen, who continues his role as executive vice president of ABC Studios, overseeing production, has produced both award-winning films and television series, and received his Academy Award for the Live Action Short Film, DEAR DIARY.
SQUEEGEES comes from the comedy team Handsome Donkey and is a character-driven ensemble comedy about entrepreneurial slackers and their fledging window washing business.
New SQUEEGEES episodes will debut every Monday and Friday on both sites.
Handsome Donkey principals Adam Countee, Brendan Countee, Marc Gilbar and Aaron Greenberg created, executive produced and star in SQUEEGEES.
The studioâs roll out of new short-form programming will continue with VOICEMAIL 2, the second season of ABC.comâs first original series inspired by one manâs decade-long collection of phone messages.
The never-before-seen humorous snippets capture an uncanny insight into the life of a 20-something male slacker in pursuit of happiness.
VOICEMAIL 2 is executive produced by Angela Mancuso.
Also slated to debut this spring is the original science fiction action thriller TRENCHES, from Shane Felux, filmmaker and creator of PITCHING GEORGE LUCAS and STAR WARS REVELATIONS, which became online sensations.
Set in another time, on another planet, TRENCHES begins in the waning days of a grueling war. A botched rescue attempt forces a young soldier and his unit to team up with their enemy to survive a brutal threat and escape the planet.
Stage 9 is part of Disney-ABC Television Group, a division of The Walt Disney Company.