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Yahoo to Webcast 'Fat Actress' TV Premiere

Move Marks Portal's Expansion Into More TV-Based Online Content

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In the latest move of an expansion into more TV-based Internet content, Yahoo will Webcast the full first episode of Fat Actress when it premieres on Showtime Networks March 7, according to the company.

Kirstie Alley's new show will debut simultaneously on TV and Yahoo Webcast.

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A Yahoo first
The Webcast marks the first time Yahoo will debut an entire episode of a TV series, making the program and its commercials available to anyone who registers and uses Yahoo's video player format.

The show, starring Kirstie Alley, will remain available on tv.yahoo.com until March 12.

The Web simulcast was arranged by Lloyd Braun, the former chairman of ABC Entertainment Television Group who was recently hired as head of Yahoo's media and entertainment properties.

The Showtime deal, along with Yahoo's branded entertainment placements on NBC's The Apprentice and subsequent video streams on Yahoo TV online, are designed to broaden Yahoo's reputation as a major provider of online video.

Transforming the Internet?
Mr. Braun has suggested he plans to revolutionize Web-based entertainment and bring a "big, signature event" to the Internet that will transform the medium much the same way I Love Lucy or The Sopranos transformed TV.

The Fat Actress video program will be the centerpiece of related features, including additional video clips, photos, upcoming episode information and links to the series' Web site.

As broadband connections to the Internet become standard in American homes, Yahoo, MSN and America Online are competing to establish their position in the field that many view as a potential high-growth area for audiences and advertising.

AOL last week also began playing short clips of ABC's Desperate Housewives the morning after it airs. General Motors Corp.'s Buick is sponsoring those episode recaps.

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