Today kicked off the official start of new interactive thriller web series Harper’s Globe from the team at EQAL, creators of lonelygirl15 and KateModern. Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried, the creative minds behind the series popularized highly interactive low-fi video blogging dramas, basically setting the bar for the genre.
The duo, along with EQAL’s Matt Siegel, were tapped by CBS Interactive to develop a social online series that would integrate directly into the story lines of CBS’ new Jon Turtletaub hour-long drama series Harper’s Island, which premieres on the network April 9. The two sister series will share overlapping characters, locations and evolving plots lines throughout the first season.
The online series stars former lonelygirl15 regular Melanie Merkosky, as newcomer Robin Matthews to the sleepy vacation island who is tasked with digitizing old news archives from the local paper. Her mysterious past and penchant for video presumably make her the fitting conduit to get to the bottom what’s really going on around the island—that is, people getting killed off one by one.
Merkosky shines in the debut and has the captivating quality that could vault her up into web stardom. Whether or not she appears in the TV counterpart remains to be seen.
Tony Valenzuela, director of 2008’s Streamy-nominated 2009: A True Story, was picked to direct the series after Goodfried and Beckett had seen his apocalyptic thriller last fall. Jennier Yale wrote the series, and as we’ve learned today, also happens to be Harper’s Island Executive producer Jeffrey Bell‘s assistant. So it’s pretty likely that the evolving narratives will be on the same page, so to speak.
New episodes of the weekly Globe series come out every Wednesday, with shorter videos popping up in the days between releases. The Wedneday episodes are really edited roll-ups of the more disparate videos that appear daily. One spooky video already has already surfaced on the social network that surrounds the show, HarpersGlobe.com, hinting that things aren’t so peaceful in this town.
Given that CBS Interactive is behind the series, the distribution reach of the show is pretty wide. Content will be available at CBS.com, TV.com, CBS Mobile and across the CBS Audience Network.