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Comcast to Preview Noggin/N Series

Comcast Corp.’s video-on-demand and broadband services will get the first shot later this month at airing the premiere episode of Noggin’s and The N’s new scripted series, Instant Star.

The premiere installment of the 13-episode series -- depicting the life of a teen singer and songwriter who is propelled to superstardom after she wins a national American Idol-style talent competition -- will be available exclusively via Comcast On Demand and ( June 24-30 before it bows on the network July 1, Noggin/The N president Tom Ascheim said.

In addition to the premiere episode, Comcast will make available exclusive ancillary content from the series, including music-video fare from the show; an interview with the show’s lead star, Alexz Johnson; and a sneak preview of the upcoming season.

Ascheim said Comcast will also offer encore plays of each show via VOD and broadband beginning July 11 and extending through November. And will host an exclusive live chat between the show’s on-air talent and viewers.

In the past, The N has offered original content to Comcast for its broadband service, most recently repeats of its February miniseries, Miracle’s Boys. Last December, Comcast also premiered a Noggin original movie, Franklin’s Magic Christmas, two weeks before it aired on the network.

But Ascheim said the Instant Star promotion marks the first time the network is bowing an original scripted series via broadband and VOD. He added that the preview will hopefully reach the network’s target audience of 12- to 17-year-olds who are predisposed to using the Internet and VOD.

Ascheim said he’s not concerned that the broadband airing will take viewers away from the channel’s July 1 debut. To ensure greater value for the cable premiere, he added, the network will air the first two episodes of the series, compared with Comcast receiving only the first 30-minute show.

For more on Comcast and Instant Star, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 24 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.