NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Add two more variations to this season's popular theme of tie-ups between TV networks and web portals. Yahoo TV has partnered with CBS's Showtime to stream new episodes of "Weeds," "Sleeper Cell," "The L Word" and "Dexter." Meanwhile, as Fox's broadcast airwaves become crammed with the Major League Baseball playoffs, the network is leveraging its online properties to keep viewers engaged with its fall lineup.
With the launch of Fox on Demand, the network is now delivering full episodes of its fall series -- with ads -- on MyFoxLocal websites in the company's 24 owned-and-operated markets. The shows will also be available through corporate sibling MySpace.
New and returning shows
Fox on Demand viewers will have their pick of previously aired episodes from new and returning shows including "Bones," "Prison Break," "Standoff," "Vanished," "Talk Show With Spike Feresten," "'Til Death," "The Loop" and "Justice." More offerings are in store for later this month and into November. Initial sponsors for the Fox initiative include Toyota Motor, Burger King and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
"We're fortunate to have partners like Fox Interactive Media and our Fox Stations Group making our entertainment programming available to viewers while we turn over much of prime time to Fox Sports and post-season baseball," said Peter Liguori, Fox president-entertainment.
The experiment is just one example of how media companies are integrating the web into their overall programming strategies.
"This is a significant step in our evolution as a next-generation media company," said Fox Interactive Media President Ross Levinsohn.
Through MySpace and MyFoxLocal station sites, viewers can stream shows in high-definition streaming video using the Fox Full Throttle video player.
Nearly every major network this season has tapped the web to promote their programs.
Yahoo plans to stream other Showtime programs, including "Brotherhood" and Showtime Championship Boxing. The site will be carrying episodes of each series from Oct. 6-13.
NBC debuted two new series -- "Friday Night Lights" and "30 Rock" -- on NBCFirstLook.com one week before their broadcast debuts. Supported with pre-roll advertising from AT&T, the site is also carrying the beginning of four returning shows, including "My Name is Earl." NBC worked with AOL to stream "Twenty Good Years" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" online a week before their broadcast debuts.
Yahoo previewed CBS's new series "Jericho," and the network offered three of its fall shows -- the pilot episodes of "Smith" and "The Class," along with the season opener of "The New Adventures of Old Christine -- on Google Video free of charge.
Additionally, MSN streamed the CW shows "Runaway," "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Veronica Mars" early, while Fox used its Fox Interactive sibling websites, such as MySpace and IGN, to stream the first seven minutes of the season premier of "The Simpsons."