How to Translate Web to TV? Not Clip Shows

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.