TheWB’s Exposed Uneven But Intriguing

The pitch on TheWB’s new drama/thriller is a pretty simple one — good-looking medical student with a secret past tries to keep from destroying his future. The mystery is intriguing, but a number of awkward moments might raise the eyebrows of the nitpicky.

Blood Cell Finally Gets Its Chance to Thrill on TheWB

[show=bloodcell size=large]In 2008, we all got pretty excited about Blood Cell, an intriguing psychological thriller produced by 60 Frames, directed by indie film director Eduardo Rodriguez, and starring lonelygirl15 herself, Jessica Rose. And we weren’t the only ones, judging by the fact that the Blood Cell trailer has racked up nearly 7 million views since being uploaded in April 2008.
But then…nothing happened until March 2009, when TheWB.com acquired the series for future distribution; the deal wasn’t enough to save 60Frames, though, which shut down operations two months later. And that brings us to now, as TheWB has finally launched the entire series, making all 18 episodes available at once online.
Given the fact that the series was produced over a year ago, there’s a question of how it might fit in with current web trends, but the answer is “not that badly at all.” In fact, the only element that feels dated is the fact that Alex (Sara Sanderson) unironically wears an Ed Hardy T-shirt for the duration of the series.
That’s not to say the stock thriller storyline — a kidnapped girl reaches out to her best friend Julia (Rose) for help, who only has the cell phone messages sent by a deranged Bad Man as clues — is perfect. Read More about Blood Cell Finally Gets Its Chance to Thrill on TheWB

The WB’s Rockville, CA Lives For the Music

[show=rockville size=large]While Rockville, CA is a pretty good name for a web series, Club Rockville is kind of a lame name for a music venue, especially a music venue crammed with hip kids in their early 20s. But that’s one of only a few missteps in The OC creator Josh Schwartz’s original web series for TheWB.com, a light and watchable music/sitcom/drama hybrid debuting today.
The formula as laid out in the first six episodes is pretty simple: Warner Bros. label artist plays while attractive young people nurse crushes on those slightly out of their league. (Correction: Only one artist, Lights, is on the WB label; all bands were chosen by renowned music supervisor Alex Patsavas.) Given that at any point, there’s only about two minutes of real plot time, there’s not much else to it: character development is limited and the biggest twist in the first six episodes is the revelation that the hot waitress’s boyfriend has broken up with her (an event which had a lot of foreshadowing).
But this isn’t meant to be Gemini Division — in the opening credits, the name of the band playing is placed before the name of the episode, which tells you everything you need to know. The show’s sole raison d’etre is the mix of witty banter and hot indie tunes, which are filmed live (no playback) and underscore each episode. I got to visit the shoot back in November, and the energy of the musical performances, even at 11 a.m. on a Monday, was exactly like seeing a band play live (except for all the cameras, of course). Read More about The WB’s Rockville, CA Lives For the Music

Vid-Biz: DropPlay, Blood Cell, DiggNation

Facebook + YouTube + Pandora = DropPlay. Search for songs (which play via YouTube), get music recommendations and share with friends. (VentureBeat)

TheWB.com Picks Up Blood Cell; web horror series stars Jessica Rose (aka Lonelygirl15) and was produced by 60Frames. (The Hollywood Reporter)

DiggNation Guys Were on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Last Night; as if last night’s episode couldn’t get any geekier, Fallon also incorporated a Twitter experiment (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) Now that nerds have their foot in the door, our friends at JKonTheRun want in on some of that sweet Fallon action.

SpeedCine Shows You Where to Find Films Online; just-launched database will eventually show you where to find your favorite movie via streaming or download. (SpeedCine)

TV.com Goes Really High-Def with 1080p Video Gallery; select shows and content can be watched at the video portal in super high quality. (emailed release)

Adify Updates its Ad Network Platform; version 4.0 gives advertisers post-impression tracking tools, as well as updated dashboard tools. (Contentinople)

FreeWheel and Attributor Partner on User-Generated Video; two startups will combine content tracking and ad inventory systems. (MediaPost)

Vid-Biz: DTV Coupons, Sling, Lionsgate

DTV Coupon Program Out of Money; government program offering $40 toward digital converter box out of money weeks earlier than anticipated. (TVWeek)

Sling Shows Off iPhone App, Mac Capabilities; SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone will let users watch TV and control their home DVR, SlingPlayer for Mac HD will let Sling users stream content to their Macs. (emailed release)

Lionsgate Buys TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com; purchase price was $225 million, Lionsgate plans to expand the network’s original programming lineup. (The LA Times)

Gossip Girl Creator Heading Up Web Series for TheWB.com; Rockville centers around the lives of a group of twenty-somethings at a nightclub where real-world acts like the Kaiser Chiefs and Travis will perform. (Variety)

MobiTV Ramps Up for Inauguration; the presidential election was a big draw for the mobile TV service, company is gearing up to handle the expected surge of interest for Obama’s inauguration. (Bits Blog)

Blu-ray Ends 2008 on a High (Def) Note; sales of the players were so good that Adams Media Research raised its U.S. Blu-ray household estimates to to 3.1 million by year’s end up from 2.9 million. (The Hollywood Reporter)

FFWD Releases APIs to Developers; developers can integrate the video recommendation engine’s functionality into their sites; company also says Boxee will be incorporating FFWD into its future releases. (TechCrunch)

Check Into to Corddry’s Hospital Comedy

Hollywood might just be getting the hang of this whole web series thing. If the new trailer for Rob Corddry’s (The Daily Show) star-studded Children’s Hospital is any indication, this new series from TheWB.com could become must-see web TV.

Sneak Peek: The WB Launches Tomorrow

TheWB.com will relaunch Wednesday as an online video destination in an attempt to revive the brand (and sell a few ads). We got a sneak-peek at the new site and put it through some paces. Our initial reaction? Though the content is good, the confusing interface makes one think that the WB actually stands for Why Bother? Full Review on NewTeeVee.

Sneak Peek: The WB Launches Tomorrow

TheWB.com will relaunch Wednesday as an online video destination in an attempt to revive the brand (and sell a few ads). We got a sneak-peek at the new site and put it through some paces. Our initial reaction? Though the content is good, the confusing interface makes one think that the WB actually stands for “Why Bother?”

CONTENT
The content is a mix of oldteevee shows and some web-only video. Some of the brand name content available includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and MadTV. Warner Bros. will be launching broad online distribution in mid-September, but until then, The WB has shows like full episodes of Friends, Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars, which can’t be found on Hulu.

There is also web programming like Jeannie Tate, Whatever Hollywood and the upcoming Sorority Forever (starring Jessica Rose of Lonelygirl 15 fame).

The TV content is what it is, which is fine, but the web stuff is pretty bad, especially the Whatever Hollywood series, which follows three girls doing goofy stuff and singing some of the worst parody songs you will ever hear.

Read More about Sneak Peek: The WB Launches Tomorrow

TheWB Boldly Announces Site Additions

TheWB.com doesn’t want you to give up on it yet. The site is adding old favorites and new online series for its official launch at the end of the summer. The news came via an announcement sent out last night, which was notable mostly for its use of bold type:

All of the feedback we have received has been amazing! We are hearing you loud and clear and promise fantasic pay-offs come August 27th.

Since you’ve been asking, we’ll have more shows and episodes at launch including:

Oldteevee shows being included in the online roster are Everwood, Veronica Mars, Roswell, Angel, In Living Color (clips), MadTV, Firefly, and The Loop.

It also provided a little more detail about its original online series Sorority Forever, a college campus thriller (evidently there’s a “secret hidden behind the red door.”) The series launches September 8 (just in time for back-to-school), will have 40 episodes over eight weeks with new episodes daily.

The announcement also promises better video player quality, more features through Facebook and synched viewing so you can chat with your friends while watching.

Liz wasn’t too impressed with the beta site the first go around, but her feedback was amazing and she can expect fantastic pay-offs come launch time.