Friday, August 29, 2008

WB network returns as Web site

Deceased television network The WB has been resurrected, at least on line, emerging from beta as an ad-supported streaming TV show repository.

Launched in beta last May, The features full episodes of programs such as Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, Everwood, Friends, and The O.C.

Episodes of classic Warner Bros. shows will be updated every Monday, and a good deal of content has been made immediately available. Twenty-one episodes of the Babylon 5 season 1 have been posted in their entirety, and 22 episodes of Mad TV series 12 are available.

In addition to "back episodes" of established shows, The features Web exclusive short-form episodic content like "Whatever Hollywood," and "A Boy Wearing Makeup," in keeping with the motif and style of programming that used to appear on The WB TV prior to its amalgamation with UPN in the fall of 2006 to form The CW.

The site also features WB-related games and downloadable gimmicks (wallpapers, buddy icons, etc.), and the Adobe Premiere Express-powered WBlender, which lets users remix and generally mutilate Warner Bros. TV content.

Certainly the most unique part about The are the soon-to-be-available full-length Web-based shows such as Sorority Forever, which bears a strong resemblance to a high-budget commercial, featuring none other than YouTube star Jessica Rose, a.k.a. "Lonelygirl 15."

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