YouTube may soon get a taste of its own medicine if The CW greenlights a reality pilot that would put the Web’s best user-generated content on weekly TV.
Ghen Maynard, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group’s alternative programming guru, whose company co-owns the young-adult network with Time Warner, has been spearheading the project under the working title of Viewsers.
The show, from Room 403 Prods., a traditional and new-media company headed by David Hurwitz (Fear Factor) and Paul Cockerill (Trigger Happy TV, Jimmy Kimmel Live), would air the best videos from countless Websites, blogs and user-generated materials. According to the logline, the viral videos capturing the most online attention make the cut.
Cable has already made a stab at user-generated content with mixed results. VH1 is enjoying success with Web Junk 20, while Bravo nixed Outrageous and Contagious Viral Video. There are also two other user-generated series on cable: Nickelodeon’s two-hour MY:TV block and VH1’s acceptable.tv (with comments from users integrated), which is hosted by Jack Black and debuted Friday night.
Viewsers seeks to differentiate itself by offering an interactive element that would allow viewers to see what others are saying and communicate with them live on-air.
Additionally, The CW has been integrating online videos into its "content wraps," which consist of two- to three-minute program-like commercials.
The network’s new concept, allowing sponsors to incorporate their products into the plots of series, has persuaded a dozen advertisers to produce 20 such spots this season.
One of a trio of CW spots debuting over the next two months is having viewers submit videos of themselves performing the required steps to win the "Oreo Lick Race."
Two finalists will be chosen among online voters to decide who gets to compete on-air for a $50,000 charity prize during the April 17 episodes of Gilmore Girls and Pussycat Dolls.
Meanwhile, The CW last week revealed that it is turning an entertainment magazine concept derived out of one of its content wraps into a series pilot, teaming with Extra to develop CW Now.
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