AOL and Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution are collaborating to form a new broadband network in early 2006. The network, called In2TV (on AOL.com), will give consumers access to thousands of episodes from popular TV series to stream on demand for free on the Web, including full-length episodes from favorite series such as WELCOME BACK KOTTER, SISTERS, BEETLEJUICE, LOIS & CLARK, LA FEMME NIKITA and GROWING PAINS. Along with full-length episodes, In2TV will also include interactive features such as games, quizzes, polls, trivia contests and more.
AOL.com claims this first-of-its-kind interactive video experience demonstrates the impact of broadband now in 53% of U.S. households on the television industry, as broadband provides a new platform for television assets on the Internet.
This service will bring an unprecedented collection of popular TV series to a totally new platform, revolutionizing the distribution of television programming, said Eric Frankel, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution. It will enable users the opportunity to be entertained and to interact with the programming that has groundbreaking interactive features. Visitors will be able to program their own personal network, making it a TV lovers dream come true.
These series will be offered in a new DVD quality video format called AOL Hi-Q. This new technology enables high resolution, full-screen viewing. It will be made available free to any broadband user (along with standard-quality streaming). AOL.com is the first major portal to offer this kind of high quality video experience to consumers.
With In2TV, we are enabling web users to experience and interact with television programming in an entirely new way, and creating a new distribution platform for TV content, said Kevin Conroy, evp, AOL Media Networks. This is an exciting new way to experience these shows, allowing web users to enjoy what they want, when they want it. We view this collaboration as truly transformational and yet another demonstration of our commitment to making our next-generation AOL.com portal the best destination for video on the Web.
The In2TV site will organize the TV series into six genre-themed channels, listed below. (Additional channels will be launched at a later date.) Fans will also be able to search the series by show titles, cast names and other key words and phrases. Fans can enjoy special interactive features, including:* Starchives - Episodes featuring stars before they were stars, including Brad Pitt on GROWING Pains and Jay Leno on ALICE* Punchlines - Great viral comedy clips* TV Karaoke - Sing-alongs with favorite TV show themes* Classic Crème de la Crème - Showcase of the most memorable episodes of a given series* Betcha Didnt Know!: The Ultimate TV Quiz - Fans can test their TV trivia skills* RetroRunway - Fashion from TV series* StarFavs - Stars favorite episodes* Where Are They Now? Find out where your favorite stars are now* AIM interviews with cast members* Month-long salutes to specific series, stars and genres with extensive episodes available online and numerous interactive features. Examples could include Kotter-thon and Teri Hatcher-A-Thon
In2TV will also provide 88 interactive experiences in the first year built around specific shows. Examples of these interactive experiences might include unlocking additional material like a famous martial artist commenting on the mysteries of Shaolin in the KUNG FU series, or testing a viewers intricate and arcane knowledge on subjects as diverse as the complex world of BABYLON 5 or the 80s in conjunction with an iconic show like GROWING PAINS.
In2TV will provide AOLs advertisers with compelling video inventory for instream broadband advertising as well as opportunities for sponsorships and accompanying banner ads. Video ads, 15-second and 30-second spots, will be limited to a total of 1-2 minutes within each 30-minute episode as compared to eight minutes of advertising on broadcast television.
The six channels, and a sampling of the shows fans can find within them, follows:LOL TV: Laugh out Loud with this channel that will feature WELCOME BACK KOTTER, the Emmy-nominated series that launched the career of John Travolta. Fans will also find CHICO AND THE MAN, where Freddie Prinze broke new ground for Latinos on TV alongside Emmy-winner Jack Albertson, as well as PERFECT STRANGERS, featuring the foibles of cousins Balki and Larry, in a show that helped to establish ABCs TGIF lineup and ranked #1 in every time period it aired. Plus, HANGIN WITH MR. COOPER, as well as HEAD OF THE CLASS, which debuted on ABC as a Top 10 sitcom.
Dramarama TV: This channel will showcase great dramatic series ranging from the five-time Emmy-nominated SISTERS, to FALCON CREST, one of primetimes juiciest soaps that was a Friday night staple on CBS for nine seasons. Drama fans will also find SCARECROW AND MRS. KING, the Golden Globe-nominated and Emmy-winning series co-starring Bruce Boxleitner and former ANGEL Kate Jackson; along with TV icon Robert Urich in SPENSER: FOR HIRE; as well as EIGHT IS ENOUGH, the Emmy-nominated series starring Dick Van Patten that ranked in ABCs Top 10 for season after successful season.
Toontopia TV: Top-rated animation comes to life with BEETLEJUICE, the animated adaptation of Tim Burtons hit movie that ran successfully for multiple seasons on both Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. The channel will also feature animated favorites such as Daytime Emmy-winning FREAKAZOID, as well as fellow Daytime Emmy-winners PINKY AND THE BRAIN and HISTERIA!, both exec produced by Steven Spielberg. Plus, theres THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN, featuring the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward from the live-action series.
Heroes and Horrors TV: Sci-fi and horror fans will be riveted by this channel that includes LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, which was a Top 10 program on ABC for three seasons, starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, along with every episode of BABYLON 5, the Emmy Award-winning syndicated sci-fi series so popular that stations aired it twice a day. Plus, theres FREDDYS NIGHTMARES hosted by the maniacal Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), and the adventures of WONDER WOMAN starring Lynda Carter, which was consistently a Top 20 series across two networks, airing on both ABC and then on CBS. Plus V, where resistance fighters must stop Visitors from invading Earth.
Rush TV: This channel will feature action/adventure favorites such as LA FEMME NIKITA, which enjoyed an enormous cult following as witnessed by over 300 websites dedicated to its star, Peta Wilson, and the show. Fans will also find the Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated series KUNG FU. In addition, fans can re-discover THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY JR, 2001s THE FUGITIVE, DARK JUSTICE and more.
Vintage TV: This channel will feature GROWING PAINS, the Emmy-winning sitcom that lasted an incredible seven seasons, turning Kirk Cameron into a teenage heartthrob and featured a young actor by the name of Leonardo DiCaprio. Plus, theres ALICE, which ranks among an elite group of sitcoms to air for nine successful seasons. Plus, fans will also find F TROOP, which became a top rated hit on Nick@Nite after a successful run on ABC, as well as Emmy-nominated MAVERICK. Other Vintage TV series will include THE F.B.I.
America Online and its subsidiaries operate a leading network of web brands and the largest Internet access subscription service in the U.S. Brands include the AOL service, the AOL.com website, and the AIM, MapQuest, Moviefone, Netscape, CompuServe and ICQ services. America Online offers a range of digital services including the TotalTalk voice service. The company also has operations in Canada and Europe. America Online is based in Dulles, Virginia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner.
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution is a leading supplier of programming to the pay television and basic cable marketplaces. WBDCD licenses, markets and distributes programming to a dozen broadcast networks, 30 pay TV, over 100 basic channels and numerous HD networks.