CBS Interactive Teams with Saturn on Web Series with Interactive Elements

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CBS Interactive recently partnered with automaker, Saturn, on an original scripted Web series, entitled "Novel Adventures," that featured interactive elements. The eight-Webisode series, created by Jonathan Prince ("The Cleaner"), who has a first-look deal with CBS Paramount Network Television, premiered November 3rd on CBS.com, TheInsider.com and TV.com, and starred Daphne Zuniga and a number of other established TV actors. Each episode was presented exclusively on CBS.com, TheInsider.com and TV.com for 48 hours, and was then distributed on the CBS Audience Network and iTunes. Two episodes were released for each of the first two weeks of the show's run, followed by a single new episode each week for the rest of the run. The show was promoted on CBS Interactive's various Web sites, as well as during primetime on the CBS Television Network.

The show, which was shot in HD, tells the story of four Los Angeles women from different backgrounds and at different stages of their lives, who join a book club and subsequently discover they have a taste for adventure. Inspired by a different book each week they embark on a series of adventures that CBS Interactive says "help them fulfill their lives while taking them to a new and exciting place each week." "This is a new media model that makes creative and financial sense for Saturn and CBS Interactive, a high-quality, high-concept scripted series that is fully sponsored, widely distributed and backed by the promotional power of a major media company, including its broadcast network," stated Prince, who apparently was asked by Saturn to create the series and then brought it to CBS. "We get to tell great stories with an A+ cast and crew, Saturn gets creative and seamless promotion for its new line of cars, and CBS Interactive offers its flagship Web sites and Audience Network high-production-value content."

The new series was complemented by a range of interactive/community-building services and other enhancements on a dedicated area of CBS's Web site (cbs.com/noveladventures). These included blogs and vlogs organized by character, episode and book; and the ability for viewers to 1) post comments and rate each episode, as well as rate and review the books featured on the show; 2) suggest books to be covered in future episodes; 3) take part in quizzes about the show and its featured books; and 4) participate in discussion boards and chats, including chats with the authors of the featured books.