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Summary:

TV shows featuring online clips — from YouTube debates to ABC’s i-Caught to even the original VH1’s Web Junk — are just awkward. We’d checked out CW’s new addition to the category, Online Nation, and had found it utterly unwatchable. This week it became the TV […]

TV shows featuring online clips — from YouTube debates to ABC’s i-Caught to even the original VH1’s Web Junk — are just awkward. We’d checked out CW’s new addition to the category, Online Nation, and had found it utterly unwatchable. This week it became the TV season’s first cancellation. And — harsh! — all mention has already been removed from the CWTV site.

Online Nation was supposed to be the big television break for a trio of online video stars: Little Loca and Rhett and Link, a.k.a. Stevie Ryan and Rhett McLaughlin and Lincoln Neal. Along with actress Joy Leslie, the three provided intros and banter to link together video clips chosen for the show. Well, good thing they kept up with posting their regular material online.

I love Variety’s jargony take on the announcement:

Low-rated show, which featured clips from the Internet, has been permanently 404’ed by the net, which will air repeats of frosh laffer “Aliens in America” in the 7:30 p.m. slot starting Sunday.

Apparently Online Nation had just 580,000 viewers for its last episode. That kind of number would be a hit online, but not by much.

  1. Will the Internet People ever rise up? No one has made it yet. Will that day ever come?

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  2. Please correct me if I’m wrong but to my knowledge there are no primetime TV shows about radio programs and there are no major syndicated radio shows about TV Shows. Why should we think that TV needs to do a show about our medium in order for us to catch a break?

    Sure they could drive a lot of traffic to our online shows but will that traffic stay? People who watch shows on TV watch them because they like the lean back experience and people who watch shows on the Internet do it for the lean forward experience as well as the interaction with the show’s talent.

    Getting featured on the iTunes Store, having over a million viewers an episode and landing an advertiser or two is catching a break in our world.

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  3. Tim,

    These best of the web style shows–which are basically no different than America’s Funniest Home Videos–cost practically nothing to produce (probably less than $30K per episode if I were to guess vs. up to $10 million per episode for certain scripted series), so the idea is probably very appealing for tv networks.

    David

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  4. These shows can work, but they are just being done wrong. It doesn’t make sense to take the biggest web videos and throw them on TV which creates a show full of stuff that everybody’s already seen online. Of course nobody tunes in.

    The better strategy would be to use the show to introduce new videos from people that are having success online and more importantly, introduce mass audiences to the creators.

    The same way that Yo MTV Raps helped launch rap music because it introduced people to the artists and contextualized the music/culture – didn’t just throw a bunch of videos up there from people who a mass audience had never heard of and expect it to automatically catch on.

    Wow. Just realized this is a very serious post for a guy that runs a comedy video blog.

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  5. [...] Web Shows Should Be on TV? TV shows filled with web clips don’t work (R.I.P. Online Nation, Web Junk, et al), as Liz recently pointed out. So why not transport an [...]

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  6. [...] on-air presence, but Roesch noted he is well aware of the failures with other clip shows, such as the CW’s Online Nation and VH1’s Acceptable.tv, and is looking to do something [...]

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  7. [...] perhaps to the futility of video clip shows altogether, Khemlani added, “It’s a lot easier just to email somebody a link to a given [...]

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  8. [...] much luck in building TV shows around web clips. Bombs like Online Nation and Web Junk practically killed the category and we haven’t seen any attempts to bring the format back. That is, until now. Both Comedy [...]

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