May 05, 2006 12:31 AM by Joe Blackmon
CBS Corporation announced the launch of "innertube," a new, advertising-supported broadband channel offering a wide range of free entertainment programming to Internet users. Innertube will launch with a line-up of original series produced expressly for the Internet, as well as new shows that are companions to popular CBS brands. The genres for the original Internet programs will range from reality to musical performance, from entertainment magazine style to talk format, and from sketch comedy to animation.
The formation of innertube creates a new distribution channel for original material and CBS Corporation content on the Internet with programming drawn from the vast creative resources at the company’s entertainment programming divisions, including CBS Entertainment, King World, CBS Paramount Network Television, CBS Paramount Domestic Television and Showtime.
In the coming months, innertube will also become a distribution outlet for streaming encore episodes from CBS’s prime time line-up and for webcasts of content from CBS Corporation’s vast library of 2,600 titles and 100,000 hours of television programming. It will also become an alternative programming option for series broadcast on the Network that didn’t reach a mass audience, but have a loyal, passionate following that lends itself to Internet appeal.
"Our company possesses some of the world’s finest entertainment programming assets and brands, and we will continue on a strategic course to find as many distribution channels and new revenue streams for them as possible," said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation. "With this broadband channel, we’ve essentially bypassed cable and created a general entertainment outlet utilizing existing creative and content resources."
"Innertube represents CBS Corporation’s latest effort to capitalize on advertising, programming and promotional opportunities within the emerging digital world," said Larry Kramer, President, CBS Digital Media. "With Internet programming destinations now in place for news (CBSnews.com), entertainment (CBS.com) and sports (CBSSportsLine.com), CBS is at the forefront of extending our programming brands to new audiences, delivering new forms of exciting content to the consumer and creating new platforms for advertisers."
"This online channel presents exciting creative possibilities and great business opportunities for CBS," said Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group. "Creatively, we want this platform to be a content playground where new talent and ideas are discovered, and proven talent can bring their passion projects — whether complementary or different to what’s on the Network. And, on the business side, the innertube programming that is connected to the Network will help create more touch points for audiences with CBS programming brands and more opportunities for advertisers to engage with our shows."
Innertube, which can be accessed from the home page of CBS.com, will initially stream three shows daily. One new program will be posted on the channel each day, Monday through Friday, making at least five new offerings on the site throughout the week. Programming will be archived and can be accessed at any time with innertube’s browse function.
The slate of reality TV related programming that will run on inntertube will include:
The Best of House Calls – Premiering on innertube in June, THE BEST OF HOUSE CALLS is a one-hour, bi-weekly program with a four-week run that culls the best episodes of the past two seasons of HOUSE CALLS: THE BIG BROTHER TALK SHOW and presents them with new introductions made by the host of the show, Marcellas Reynolds. This show will lead to the premiere of the new season of CBS’s "Big Brother" and the first HOUSE CALLS show.
Beyond Survivor – This show is a behind-the-scenes look at the production of CBS’s SURVIVOR, including an exclusive, on-location view of how producers create the show’s weekly challenges and an interview with SURVIVOR’s art director. BEYOND SURVIVOR premieres May 4th on innertube.
Fire Me,Please (Network show) – This hidden-camera reality series follows two people starting new jobs on the same day with the goal of intentionally getting fired by 3PM. To most people, getting fired seems like it would be the end of the world, but what if getting fired meant you could win $25,000? The person that gets fired closest to, but does not go past, the 3PM deadline wins the cash prize. Hidden cameras capture the action as the participants drive their managers and co-workers crazy with outrageous behavior. FIRE ME,PLEASE was originally broadcast in CBS and will stream on innertube this summer.
Greek to Chic – Premiering May 4 on innertube, GREEK TO CHIC puts a new spin on the popular home improvement/personal makeover genre taking viewers inside fraternity houses. Hosted by Jonathan Redford and Sandra Sanchez, each 10-minute episode of GREEK TO CHIC features fraternity brothers competing for makeover rewards while being provided with tools to help maintain their new look.
The Green Room – Premiering on innertube this summer, this entertainment magazine-like show takes a somewhat irreverent look at CBS programming. THE GREEN ROOM features sneak-peaks, bonus footage from reality shows, extended promos, exclusive interviews with CBS talent and more. Each episode is approximately 5 to 10 minutes in length.
Hook Me Up – Premiering on innertube in August, HOOK ME UP offers a unique opportunity for singles to be "hooked up" through this online video dating reality show.
House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show – HOUSE CALLS: THE BIG BROTHER TALK SHOW will premiere in July with returning hosts by Marcellas Reynolds and Gretchen Massey. The show streams live on CBS.com Monday through Friday for 30 minutes at 10AM PT/1PM ET and on Fridays for one hour at 10AM PT/1PM ET before re-streaming on innertube. Daily shows feature interaction between viewers and the hosts through phone calls and e-mails, discussions on events that transpire in the BB7 house, prognostications and strategies, and interviews with former BB houseguests as well as current houseguests following their eviction.
InTurn – Premiering on innertube this summer, INTURN is a new online reality series that features a group of young, hopeful actors living together while going through "soap opera boot camp" with the ultimate goal of being cast on the CBS Daytime hit AS THE WORLD TURNS.
Survivor Live: The Internet Talk Show – Former Survivor winner Jenna Morasca and Entertainment Weekly reporter Dalton Ross host SURVIVOR LIVE: THE INTERNET TALK SHOW, a weekly show featuring an exclusive interview with the Survivor voted off each week, fan phone calls, in-studio guests and lively discussion of all things Survivor. SURVIVOR LIVE streams live on CBS.com on Fridays for one hour at 2PM ET/11AM PT before re-streaming on innertube. Behind-the-scenes footage from the "Survivor" season finale will also appear on innertube on May 15, 2006.
CBS’s innertube is an advertising-supported channel and the programming is offered for free to its Internet users. The national advertisers supporting shows on innertube include Brinkmann Corporation, Cadbury Schweppes, Chili’s, Pier 1 Imports and Verizon SuperPages.com.