Next New Swaps Programming Chops for AOL Distribution

Next New Networks has expanded its roster of distribution partners today with the launch of The One, a daily web series, to be featured on the AOL (s AOL) front page, that spotlights “the one thing we’re thinking about today.”

The show, directed and produced by NNN’s head of production Kathleen Grace, features a revolving slate of contributors from around the web commentating on the biggest news of the day. First up is Onion digital director and comedian Baratunde Thurston, who doesn’t just discuss his excitement for tonight’s premiere of TBS’s Conan, but goes into what the digitally savvy show’s success might mean for the future of late night.

It was AOL who came to NNN with the idea for doing a daily news show, NNN co-founder Tim Shey told us via phone, which Next New then reconceived as a commentary series featuring many different voices. “The goal is to eventually have a regular stable of correspondents, like on 60 Minutes,” Shey said. “So you’ll see some recurring guests as soon as next week, but every week will be feature both new and familiar faces.”

Some of the talent Shey and Grace plan to draw from for The One includes bloggers from the AOL network, beginning tomorrow with Politics Daily’s Chief White House Correspondent Alexandra Wagner, who will talk about President Obama and politics. The idea to use AOL bloggers came from Next New, Shey said, as the company has on its payroll “some of the best bloggers in the world.”

The One is exclusive to AOL, but part of Next New’s partnership with the site includes distribution of other NNN content, including Auto-Tune the News and Key of Awesome shorts. Episodes are shot in a studio Next New built specifically for the show, but as the webcam-esque format indicates, Shey says that they are “thinking about doing remote shoots at some point.”

Similar projects Next New has taken on include the weekly film series FilmFan, original content being produced exclusively for MSN Movies, as well as the ongoing American Express branded series Small Business Rules.

I liked this first episode (it’s hard not to like Thurston, after all), which I mentioned to Shey when we spoke for this piece, something he said he liked hearing because of AOL’s older-skewing mainstream audience. “I like hearing that you like it, but I also like hearing that my mom likes it. It’s a tricky balance,” he said.

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