Warner Bros. will launch Theoblongs.com, an animation-driven Web experience based on The Oblongs, a Warner Bros. animated comedy series slated to debut on The WB next year. The Web site (www.theoblongs.com) will showcase 25 original, roughly 30-second animated sketches produced exclusively for the Internet.
The shorts are scheduled to roll out one per day to coincide with the launch of the newly redesigned Warner Bros. Online Web site in mid June.
The show will center on the experiences of a family living near a toxic dump and afflicted with such physical maladies as having no arms. If you're looking for a Millionaire knockoff, keep turning the dial.
"The characters are kind of quirky, so it was going to be difficult to introduce the characters and build an audience for it," says Warner Bros. New Media Executive Vice President Kevin Tsujihara. "We also knew the demographic would be perfect for the Internet. So we said, let's use the Internet as a way to build the audience."
The project enlisted the talents of show producer Bruce Helford, Warner Bros. and the WB network, Tsujihara says. The shorts will be a promotional tool as well as original on-air content, he adds, and, although some may look like the commercials that will be on The WB network, the driving force was really to offer the most entertaining content.
"This could be a model on how the Internet medium can be used to build an audience and work with the network," he says. "The usual model is the network has a Web site and the studio has a Web site, but that gets kind of confusing for the viewer. What we're doing here is building one Web site. So it really could end up being a model."
But it will be an edgy model. "That," says Tsujihara, "makes it perfect for the Internet."