Through doe-eyed subterfuge and using the intimacy of the newfangled videoblogging medium to their advantage, med-school dropout Miles Beckett and former lawyer Greg Goodfried helped to create a dramatic internet show that made huge waves on the web, Lonelygirl15.
In a recently announced partnership, CBS will have first dibs on EQAL’s new shows, and EQAL will help CBS expand aspects of its TV lineup on the web. But can Lonelygirl-like series work off the web?
Like I wrote before, there’s something special about the way Lonelygirl fans consume the show. It’s intimate. The characters reveal themselves to the world through personal webcams. We watch on personal computers. We rate, comment, tag, forward to friends, bookmark, and download, creating a sense of ownership and contributing to a type of entertainment experience that’s more emotionally engaging and endearing than anything before it.
All this is lost when you catch the show on broadcast TV. People engage with the small screen in a different way. If EQAL creates shows meant for the web, my guess is they won’t thrive for very long if they’re broadcast on TV.
But the part of the deal that has legs is EQALs involvement with creating “brand extensions” of CBS shows. Like NBC’s done with webisodes of The Office and Heroes, Beckett and Goodfried will create complimentary online experiences that extend television brands to the internet, giving fans opportunities to immerse themselves in their favorite programming.
The future of TV isn’t the internet, it’s a synergetic relationship between the internet and TV. CBS EQALs smart.