CBS To Take Harper's Island Seriously Multi-Platform
CBS is teaming with Eqal, the creators of the very popular lonelygirl15, to turn its new mystery show, Harper’s Island, into a multi-platform, social-networking extravaganza, CBS said Tuesday. The show comes from a partnership CBS formed with Eqal last year.
The show’s online version will launch well in advance of the series at www.HarpersGlobe.com on Wednesday, March 18. CBS’ version commences on Thursday, April 9 at 9 p.m. ET. Both versions will conclude on Thursday, July 2 at 10 p.m.
Harper’s Island, starring Christopher Gorham (“Ugly Betty”) and Harry Hamlin, is the story of a group of family and friends who travel to the island to attend a destination wedding. The event soon turns from dream to nightmare as the wedding guests are murdered one by one.
“It’s not a pre-requisite to go online in order to follow the series on-air, but those who do will have an authentic entertainment experience that drills deeper into the mythology and mystery happening on Harper’s Island,” said Nancy Tellem, President of the CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, in a statement. "Since the pilot phase, the writers have been working with our colleagues at EQAL and CBS Interactive to make Harper’s Globe a destination that is a unique yet faithful connection to the television series while sustaining the curiosity and conversation before and between episodes."
All of the show’s content will be available on HarpersGlobe.com, CBS.com, CBS Mobile and across the CBS Audience Network.
“The best shows on television are those that leave you wanting more at the closing credits each week. With CBS we’re giving fans more. More characters, more plotlines and more ways than ever before to interact with a television show," said Miles Beckett, CEO of EQAL, also in a statement. "By bringing together the unique elements of both mediums, we’re able to extend and amplify the Harper’s Island experience to engage fans in a whole new way.”
In addition to collaborating with CBS on the writing, producing, and directing all of the social show content, EQAL will also help provide the technology infrastructure to host the social show which includes built-in interactive and community elements.
Jericho’s Jon Turteltaub and Alias’ Jeffrey Bell are executive producers for CBS Paramount Network Television in association with Junction Entertainment. Jericho’s Karim Zreik and Dan Shotz as well as Cold Case’s Tyler Bensinger are co-executive producers. Hide and Seek’s Ari Schlossberg is co-executive producer and creator.
The social show episodes are executive produced by Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried, co-founders of EQAL, and Matt Seigel, co-executive produced by James Sterling, directed by Tony Valenzuela, written by Jennifer Yale and starring Melanie Merkosky.
CBS’ online experiment with Harper’s Island is a first for the network as far as fiction is concerned, but the network does offer an extensive online experience in conjunction with its summer reality show, Big Brother. More and more primetime TV shows — NBC’s Heroes and ABC’s Lost, for example — are extending their storylines online, a strategy that should only strengthen shows’ relationships with hard-core fans.