Coming Soon to TV: Your Favorite Mags

Hearst Inks Development Deal With Fox to Turn Popular Titles Into Series

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Fox Television Studios and Hearst Magazines are joining forces to create series for broadband and eventually network TV based on popular magazine titles.
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The development deal includes two initial webisode projects inspired by CosmoGirl and Popular Mechanics.

Companion Story:

Hearst: It's Gonna Work This Time
Deal With Fox to Will Develop TV Programming Unique to the Platform


The development deal includes two initial webisode projects inspired by CosmoGirl and Popular Mechanics. The online series feature an undetermined number of two- to three-minute episodes that will launch on the magazines' websites. The companies also plan to pitch the content to web portals such as Yahoo and AOL.

The CosmoGirl project is a serialized soap, with fans contributing to the narrative by submitting suggestions for what should happen next in the story. The details of the Popular Mechanics webisodes have not yet been determined, nor has a timeline for launching either project.

50-50 split for Fox, Hearst
The deal marks the first union between Fox and Hearst, with the companies agreeing to a 50-50 split of any advertising revenue. If successful, they hope to create further content for both broadband and network TV. "This is an innovative partnership that marries Fox TV Studios' creative ideas with Hearst's successful brands and content," said Angela Shapiro-Mathes, president of Fox Television Studios.

The webisodes will be the first foray into broadband for Fox Studios, which has long been known primarily for reality and documentary content.

This week, the Fox team will seek to score two more credits when it begins shopping two projects from "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, whom it signed to a development deal last year. The studio is keeping quiet on the details, but Ms. Shapiro-Mathes is optimistic this summer will be a watershed. "This is a nice place to be in a comparatively short period of time," she said.

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Mr. Hibberd is a reporter with TelevisionWeek.
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