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Warner Bros. Launches Studio 2.0

Warner Bros. Television Group has started a digital production arm to create original programming for broadband web sites and wireless devices. The division, Studio 2.0, will be headed by veteran ad executive Rich Rosenthal and will work closely with advertisers to build content around their products. TV Group Executive VP Craig Hunegs will oversee the venture.

Studio 2.0 will cull content from both existing Warner Bros. TV talent and new players from outside. They will develop both multi-episode series and one-offs, both live-action and animated. Warner Bros., through its new Digital Distribution unit, is aiming to license the programming to web sites and wireless providers.

NBC Universal started an in-house production studio, the NBC Universal Digital Studios, last fall to create digital content—broadband and mobile video—to be farmed out across the company’s assets, including the owned-and-operated stations, the NBC broadcast network, startup broadband site, and iVillage, which NBC acquired for $600 million in March.

They are currently producing Junior Year Abroad, a short-form reality series for the O&Os following 10 college juniors during a year overseas. The group’s most successful endeavor to date is a short, viral video called The Easter Bunny Hates You, which they distributed ad-free to such sites as YouTube. The video logged about 5 million streams in three weeks in April.