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Summary:

There may never be another lonelygirl15, especially given its origin as a hoax and as one of the first experiments in what episodic web content could be. But now that it’s finally over, more than 500 episodes later, its creators are wiping the slate clean while applying the lessons they’ve learned over the last two years. The new show, to be called LG15: The Resistance (see trailer below), will premiere Sept. 20.

There may never be another lonelygirl15, especially given its origin as a hoax and as one of the first experiments in what episodic web content could be. But now that it’s finally over, more than 500 episodes later, its creators are wiping the slate clean while applying the lessons they’ve learned over the last two years. The new show, to be called LG15: The Resistance (see trailer below), will premiere Sept. 20.

In the meantime, the LG15 creators have raised money for their new company, EQAL, which is a next-generation content studio embracing social and interactive media. They’ve built their own social network and are furthering the ARG (alternative reality game) integrations of their dark dramas, with new blog posts, videos and photos added every day of the week.

But this time, they’re also realizing that they can reach a different, more casual audience, and will be releasing a single weekly episode of The Resistance every Saturday that ties up all the need-to-know developments of the show into a 6-8 minute video. It includes two of the main characters from lonelygirl15 — Jonas, played by Jackson Davis, and Sarah, played by Alexandra Dreyfus — and furthers some of the storylines with which they were associated.

There will also be a finite lifetime for The Resistance, with 12 episodes over the course of three months followed by a full-day (12 episodes in 12 hours) season finale.

“We love the LG15 universe,” said EQAL CEO Miles Beckett in a recent interview. “But we understand it’s very difficult for new viewers to get involved.”

“There is a core group of people where LG15 literally is their social network — somewhere in the range of 10,000 people every day,” added EQAL president Greg Goodfried. “But probably 100,000 people once every week or two weeks would binge and check out all the content then.”

The Resistance will seek to serve both those audiences — and grow them too.

In the course of preparing their first show since launching their own company, Beckett and Goodfried had to decide whether to build, buy or incorporate existing social networking tools. In the past, lonelygirl15 built a home on YouTube and KateModern lived in the universe of the social network Bebo. EQAL ended up “acq-hiring” a small company that built social networks in Japan and Israel that was so stealthy it didn’t have a name, according to Beckett. That company’s founders now make up the core of EQAL’s engineering team, building a social entertainment platform for episodic content. (EQAL as a whole now has a staff of 17, including salespeople tasked with dealmaking to integrate brands into its shows.)

But that doesn’t mean the company is closing itself off from the rest of the web; it’s not building its own video hosting and player tools, and it will be seeding all the episodes on partner sites like MySpaceTV, imeem, Veoh, YouTube and Hulu. One of those providers will be the core video host embedded on the official Resistance site, but EQAL did not say which. EQAL is also planning YouTube, Flickr and Twitter API integrations.

The company has a full plate of projects, including an Italian series to launch in January 2009 and two to three other international shows. It is also working on deals to option and produce web shows pitched by independent creators and/or co-produce shows with other studios. And, last but not least, EQAL is busy at work on developing interactive features for CBS‘s fall slate of shows.

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  1. Wow… they completely ripped off Anonymous! Anonymous will probably not be pleased with this.

  2. It’s funny how there has been a trailer for http://www.whatistheresistance.com also titled THE RESISTANCE now for a few months, and now someone else is releasing a web series by the same name. EQAL congrats on being original, or should I say, rip offs.

  3. Nice write-up Liz.

  4. I’m glad to see that they are opening the door to new followers who I’m sure will join in record numbers.

    Although I personally prefer to see their organic use of video to tell story I think it is good that they are being more cinematic about their production design which sponsors should be happy about.

    Miles and Greg understand more about building an emotionally engaged interactive community of followers than anyone on the planet and that should get advertisers drinking the EQAL Kool Aide.

    Let’s just hope Miles and Greg don’t turn evil and start their own cult. ;p

  5. New Web Show From ‘lonelygirl15′ Creators Debuts September 20 | Sourfizz Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    [...] Though we’re sure the team won’t be abandoning its community roots, the more linear story line and concessions to casual audiences will likely limit the amount of audience interaction this time around. Even with those caveats, we’re interested to see what these ARG (Alternate Reality Game) pioneers have dreamed up this time. Check out the company’s Web site, EQAL.com, for up to date information as the launch date approaches. [From: NewTeeVee] [...]

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  8. Is LG15: The Resistance a Web Show or a TV Show? « NewTeeVee Saturday, August 30, 2008

    [...] EQAL, the production studio behind the show, will release new episodes just once a week, starting Sat., Sept. 20. Hmm, that sure feels a lot like how the broadcast networks dole out programming, doesn’t [...]

  9. Is LG15: The Resistance a Web Show or a TV Show? | Business Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    [...] EQAL, the production studio behind the show, will release new episodes just once a week, starting Sat., Sept. 20. Hmm, that sure feels a lot like how the broadcast networks dole out programming, doesn’t [...]

  10. LG15: The Resistance Review on NTV Station « NewTeeVee Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    [...] Review on NTV Station EQAL’s Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried are previewing their much-discussed lonelygirl15 follow-up, LG15: The Resistance, at the New York Television Festival tonight — [...]

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