The N to Use Webisodes as Bridge

The N will support its first original one-hour mystery series this summer with weekly Webisodes that will help to bridge the story line between installments.

Bowing June 30, Whistler marks The N’s first attempt at extending its original teen-targeted content beyond traditional high-school-based skeins like Degrassi: The Next Generation, according to vice president of programming and production Kenny Miller.

Over its 13 one-hour episodes, Whistler will explore the mysterious death of an Olympic Games snowboarding gold medalist on the slopes of an exclusive resort.

After each of the weekly episodes on the network, Miller said, The N will present three-minute Webisodes on its Web site ( that will feature clues surrounding the mystery, as well as additional information about the roles each character plays within the story line.

The first of the shorts, slated to bow June 23, will actually serve as a preview for the series. A similar Webisode feature based on The N’s popular Degrassi series generated record traffic to the site, according to Miller.

Whistler is one of two new dramas the network will premiere next month: Beyond the Break -- a 30-minute show that looks at the competitive world of professional surfing -- debuts June 2. The N has ordered 20 installments.

Much like Whistler, the first eight episodes of Break will be supplemented by two-minute Webisodes that advance the story line, offer never-before-seen clips and provide a sneak preview of the next week’s show.

Further, The N’s Web site will feature exclusive Beyond the Break video clips, additional episodic information, cast profiles and character descriptions, according to the network. Fans of the series will also be able to download wallpaper for each of the series regulars.

For more on The N, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 10 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.