AOL, Endemol USA Partner to Produce Interactive Web Series

AOL and Endemol USA (the company behind such TV shows as "Big Brother" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," as well as the Web series, "Married on MySpace" and "Coupon Mom") said Wednesday that they have signed an agreement to co-develop and co-produce new Web programming that will initially be aimed primarily at AOL's female audience. According to the companies, their partnership will focus on creating unscripted digital video content that will take advantage of the real-time, interactive and social nature of the Web. "Endemol is a premiere producer of unscripted programming and their expertise in creating unique, interactive, popular shows, combined with AOL's growing video audience, will take digital production to the next level," David Eun, president of AOL Media & Studios, said in a prepared statement. "Endemol is the latest in a string of partnerships that serve both the AOL consumers and our advertising partners." Added David Goldberg, chairman of Endemol North America: "This deal continues our growth as a leader in interactive digital entertainment, and we look forward to creating many genre-defining series with AOL."

According to AOL and Endemol, the first "built-if-sold" series slated to be produced through their new partnership will be "Re-Dressed by America" (note: described by the companies as "an interactive Web series where online users make over subjects facing a life-changing event--high school reunions, first dates, etc.--by voting on their hairstyles, fashion, accessories and more," the show is expected to be featured on and and "Mama's Recipe" (note: described by the companies as allowing US families to "compete for the best family recipes and share their secrets with the AOL audience," the show is expected to be featured on and AOL Latino).

AOL says that it will promote each new series produced as a result of its partnership with Endemol throughout the AOL Network, focusing on sites that are relevant for the series' target demographic. All the series produced through the partnership will feature "enhanced online programming," the companies say, including such features as user voting, supplemental video clips and blog content. According to the companies, the shows and their enhancements will also provide opportunities for sponsors to integrate their messaging in "creative and highly engaging ways."

North America