NBC.com Bringing Back Pale Force, Picks up Coastal Dreams

NBC.com picked up a second season of comedian Jim Gaffigan’s animated Web series, Pale Force, and short-form soap Coastal Dreams.

Pale Force, set to kick off season two Sept. 24, features Gaffigan with sidekick Conan O’Brien (also voiced by Gaffigan) fighting crime with their abilities as the palest men alive. Following the format used in the first season, Gaffigan will present the first half of an episode on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and viewers will have to go to NBC.com to find out how the episode ends. Users will also be able to watch episodes of Pale Force on mobile phones.

Coastal Dreams, a 24-episode soap opera produced by NBC.com, follows two 20-something friends who discover a dark secret after trying to get away from the doldrums of their old lives.

NBC will utilize its social-networking sites, including leading women’s site iVillage and myNBC, to drum up interest in the broadband program by providing extensive back-stories and daily updates.

The network is also creating a unique interactive element to the show, to keep viewers involved. “Characters” from the show may call, e-mail or leave text messages to viewers as a means of furthering the plot.

"We're very proud of the original productions at NBC.com," NBC Digital Entertainment executive vice president Vivi Zigler said in a statement. "Coastal Dreams is a fun, sexy soap and Pale Force is an extremely funny, Emmy-nominated comedy series. Together, they illustrate the range of what we can do online."

NBC has radically changed its online approach over the last few months. After declining to renew its contract with iTunes and developing broadband-video site Hulu with News Corp., the company announced its intention Wednesday to allow users to download full-length NBC programming to their PCs.

While the Web shows are not nearly as well known as their network brethren, the success of the online originals allows the network to reach out to the under-30 demographic, heavily sought after by advertisers.

Pale Force strongly appeals to the young-male demo, which fits with the audience for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, which promotes the show. Coastal Dreams is meant to appeal to young women. Whether it will succeed is the question the network hopes to answer when the show launches Oct. 2.