Quarterlife‘s low ratings be damned, networks are tapping more new content to make the leap from Internet to oldteevee. NBC has signed up the rights for the upcoming sci-fi web series Gemini Division, starring Rosario Dawson; and across the pond, Channel Five has picked up Bebo’s web drama Sofia’s Diary.
NBC’s deal with production company Electric Farm Entertainment is the first deal from its newly-formed Digital Studio, which, according to the press release, has been created to “develop and produce brand-centric, quality digital content experiences, distribute them across NBCU’s portfolio of digital properties and find and develop quality digital programming into which client brands can be organically integrated.”
As part of its deal with Electric Farm, NBC will show Gemini and the upcoming online zombie comedy Woke Up Dead across its different websites. As many as eight episodes of the series will also run on oldteevee as a means of driving people back to the web to watch more.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two series will also be reformatted as seven half-hour episodes to run on TV. Perhaps sensing the sour mood after the quarterlife fiasco, Gemini and Dead aren’t going to be cutting and pasting from the net to the network. Producer Stan Rogow told THR, “If there were to be a TV show, that would be a whole different show.”
In the UK, Channel Five will run Sofia on its Fiver digital channel as the broadcaster looks to tap into the 16- to 24-year-old market. The show will run throughout the week in three-minute episodes.
Is it too early to call this a trend? Gemini, Dead and Sofia join previous media jumpers like We Need Girlfriends and Sanctuary (and yes, quarterlife), all of which were offered deals by oldteevee. And the networks are definitely upping their interest in new media. NBC’s new digital unit joins ABC’s Stage 9 as a means to source and generate new content for the web.