Sony TV Shrinks ‘Charlie’s Angels’, More For MySpace; Considers Own Site For Mini-Shows

If you ever thought hour-long crime dramas like Charlie’s Angels and Starsky and Hutch contained a little too much filler, you’re in luck: Sony Television is boiling down episodes from those and other 1970s and ’80s warhorses to three- to five minutes for the forthcoming Minisode Network, which will have an exclusive run on MySpace starting in June. Sony is weighing the proposition of creating a stand-alone website for mini-shows later on, the NYT reports.

Sony execs hasten to note that the so-called minisodes are not clips or highlights, but intended to function as programs with a full narrative arc, albeit one with only the essentials. For example, with Charlie’s Angels, an average mini version will show the team getting their assignment, engaging in a chase or fight, capturing the bad guy and then trading quips with Charlie over the intercom as they wrap things up. The idea stems from last year, as Sony executives noted the popularity of clips of old shows on YouTube, as well as Viacom’s success mining nostalgia through TVLand and Nick At Nite on cable. One advantage Sony holds over a network like TV Land is that the company holds the rights for all the shows it will use on the Minisode Network while TV Land usually relies on licenses. Aside from old shows, Sony is putting together minisodes for some of its syndicated talk shows, like Ricki Lake.

Update: Once poised to lead by dint of the breadth of its content and the PlayStation Portable, Sony has been reduced to runner-up status when it comes to portable video. The UMD’s failure to catch on didn’t help. Now Sony is making noises about a download store of its own … Cnet examines why the company continues to lag behind Apple’s iTunes store, which has sold 50 million TV shows, and why there’s not a lot of confidence that Sony can pull it off this time.