WB Goes To Class

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When kids go back to school this fall, the WB will be there, too.

In a marketing partnership with a company called The U, the Time Warner network will put its talent and snippets of its shows on 500,000 DVDs that will be dispensed free to high schoolers and college-bound teens.

The DVDs, which will be distributed through guidance counselors beginning in the fall, feature virtual tours of 50 popular colleges around the country. A high-profile WB star, Gregory Smith, who plays the college-bound Ephram Brown in "Everwood," will host some segments of the DVD.

The U, founded by then-Columbia University student Doug Imbruce, is searching for other corporate sponsors for the DVD in categories like automotive, wireless and financial services. The WB will be the sole entertainment marketer.

"The DVD is produced in such an appealing way-it's young, contemporary and hip," said Sonia Borris, the WB's VP-integrated marketing. "We feel it's something kids will really want to watch, rather than a traditional educational tool." It also hits at the heart of the WB's 18-to-24-year-old demographic target, Ms. Borris said.

The DVD will contain previews of the WB's fall shows, along with appearances from cast members.

The DVD, culled from footage shot by some 200 student interns, covers everything from campus facilities to nightlife and professor accessibility. "We tried to develop content that's a service," said Mr. Imbruce, "but it's also a little `Real World' and `Cribs' in that it speaks to this young demographic."

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