The Frog lives: Warner resurrects The WB online in beta form
Today, Warner has announced that it will be bringing back The WB as a free, ad-supported online video network to showcase original Studio 2.0 content as well as offer hit WB shows from that networks' -- and others' -- past.
Launching in beta at the beginning of May, TheWB.com will offer free full-length episodes of The OC, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Everwood, as well as the current CW show Smallville -- considered by many TV analysts The CW's only actual "hit," in very relative terms.
In addition, The WB will present shows that never actually appeared on the former "Frog" network, but were produced by Warner Bros. Television, including UPN's All of Us and Veronica Mars, and NBC's one-time #1 Thursday night blockbuster Friends.
In 2006, Warner Bros. TV agreed to merge The WB network with CBS' UPN (Viacom's first network prior to its short-lived acquisition of CBS) to become The CW. Shortly afterward, the studio announced the creation of its Studio 2.0 digital production division designed for creating short-form content for connected devices. That content will now also be included in TheWB.com.
Warner also plans to integrate the site with social network Facebook, linking content between the two.
|You can't get rid of Michigan J. Frog that easily, as these clips of his few appearances from Warner Bros.' classic Chuck Jones cartoons of the 1950s should have indicated.|
Content will also be made available on Comcast's streaming video site Fancast.com. In addition to the shows mentioned earlier, WBTVG's classic archives will also be opened for streaming from Fancast.com. This includes over 700 episodes of shows like CHiPS, The Jetsons, Gilligan's Island, Wonder Woman (the Lynda Carter version, not the Cathy Lee Crosby version), and Spenser: For Hire. AOL will also feature a channel for TheWB.com's streams.
Sign-ups for the public beta are being taken now at TheWB.com.