Will Nets Sign Off On Fan Episodes?

Stroman touts FanLib to Mad Ave

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% Inspired by the American public's obsession with entertainment and the creative process, independent media company My2Centences, is pitching a fan-based promotional program to the TV networks to further leverage their existing programming properties.

Co-founders Chris Williams and Craig Singer have retained Mark Stroman of Entertainment Marketing Partners to grease the skids with broadcasters as well as Madison Avenue for FanLib, their proprietary concept.

"There is this incredible amount of fan energy that is unharnessed by the creators, producers, and distributors of these existing properties," said Williams. "We thought why don't we marry the [online] technology and the audience and create a platform that will harness the energy in a way that can be controlled and moderated by the creators and distributors of that existing property."

The idea would be to take a network show like "The O.C." on Fox or "King of Queens" on CBS, as hypothetical examples, and allow the networks to moderate a "democratic storytelling chain" online to systematically create a fan-written episode to increase ratings, around which a brand marketer could create an integrated marketing and promotional campaign.

"It's so much more robust than traditional product placement," offered Singer. "A brand is only limited by its own imagination in terms of the promotional value of this idea."

The My2Centences team also leaves open the possibility of partnering with marketers and networks in creating an original property but admits that an "existing property with a distribution platform will be the path of least resistance."

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% Singer, a filmmaker with several feature films under his belt, also says FanLib is a concept that could also be applied in other entertainment platforms like feature films. FanLib has been beta tested using Harry Potter as the property.

"Every network is scrambling to have a two-way dialogue with its audience. This is an idea that can be executed to that end," said Stroman. "It invites millions of people into the process so all of a sudden a fan episode of a television show becomes a multi-million dollar database."

"Anything that engages viewers more directly with primetime television is a positive thing," said Guy McCarter, senior VP, director of OMD Entertainment. "But the trick will be to get a lot of people to say yes: the network, the producers, the writers, talent, and pull in a sponsor."

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