The CW has unveiled a new digital studio and its first slate of online programming, including an animated comedy series and a social gameshow.
CWD will launch this autumn, with the original shows to be available through a dedicated space on CWTV.com, on the CW’s YouTube channel, via Facebook and as pre-rolls for full-episode streams of CW TV shows available on the network’s site.
Announcing the initiative alongside its 2012/13 TV line-up, the smallest of the ‘big five’ broadcast networks gave details of four original online programmes. It also said it will feature special webisodes of CW network shows and is in conversations to develop co-branded projects with advertising partners.
Gallery Girl is a digital animated comedy series about a sarcastic and acerbic New York gallery employee, which is being executive produced by Brad Roth and Mark Feldstein of LA-based ad agency and production company Stun Creative.
Fandemonium is an online take on a traditional gameshow that will challenge The CW’s 50 million Facebook fans to compete for the title of number one fan, using social services such as Pinterest and GetGlue.
Stupid Hype is a live-action series created by and starring Wilson Bethel, star of CW drama Hart of Dixie. Set in 1990, the show will feature original music from Bethel and comes off the back of an online rap video that he wrote and produced for his Hart of Dixie co-star Rachel Bilson, which went viral earlier this year after it appeared on comedy site Funny or Die.
The fourth show, dubbed Untitled Justine Ezarik Project, will feature YouTube star iJustine as she dispenses advice to her followers. Production house The Tannenbaum Co will executive produce.
The CW also said it would use an online video technology called Interlude to create special CW webisodes that will allow viewers to make real-time decisions about the direction that the video will take.
“CWD provides us with the exciting opportunity to create additional content tailored for digital platforms, while still reflecting The CW brand and reinforcing our connection with our digital audience,” said executive VP of marketing and digital programmes Rick Haskins. He added that the online space allowed the network to experiment with “unique or outrageous concepts.”
The news comes as The CW announced three new dramas that would launch in the fall – Arrow, Beauty and the Beast and Emily Owens, MD.