Archipelago Debuts 60-Second Sitcom

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How about a little comedy with your coffee? Every morning at 7:59 a.m. on CNBC, online stock exchange Archipelago has begun airing "The Open Show," an episodic mini-sitcom that follows the adventures of Neal and Jeff, two goofballs searching for a clever way to signal the opening of the Archipelago virtual exchange.

The branded series, which can also be viewed on Archipelago's website, targets traders who are chained to their desks in the early morning, but even lay viewers are bound to get a chuckle. The first 60-second episode aired on Monday, and so far "The Open Show" has featured Neal and Jeff clumsily pumping iron in preparation for their quest, and has introduced Lisa, a woman Jeff dated once who is determined to follow him everywhere.

Running every day until the end of the year, the series is the brainchild of Archipelago's marketing group and a creative team that includes Hungry Man director -- and former Fallon CD -- Scott Vincent. "We're kind of putting on a show," Vincent explains. "[Archipelago] had the idea that since they were virtual, wouldn't it be neat to open the exchange from anywhere in the world." As the story unfolds, Neal and Jeff's stops will include New Orleans, a Renaissance festival, a Borders bookstore, and even the set of a music video. "One of the things we had heard in focus groups was that the traders -- because they watch CNBC all day long -- get tired of seeing the same thing every day," explains Archipelago spokesperson Sydnie Kampschroeder. "This is perfect for them. It's on right in front of them. I think they'll like it because it breaks things up." (Ann-Christine Diaz)

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