The N will support its first original one-hour mystery series this summer, with weekly Webisodes that will help bridge the storyline between installments.
Debuting June 30, Whistler marks The N’s first attempt at extending its original teen-targeted content beyond traditional high school-based skeins like Degrassi, according to Kenny Miller, vice president of programming and production for the service.
Over its 13, one-hour episodes, the series will explore the mysterious death of an Olympic snowboarding gold medalist on the slopes of an exclusive resort.
“We’ve had such great success with Degrassi and what we affectionately term locker dramas, but we know that we want to get outside the classroom — there’s more to teens than the time they spend in school,” Miller said.
After each of the weekly episodes on the network, Miller said The N, which shares channel space with preschool-targeted Noggin, will present three-minute Webisodes on www.the-n.com that will feature clues surrounding the mystery, as well as additional information about each character.
The first of the shorts, slated to start June 23, will actually serve as a preview for the series. A similar webisode feature based on The N’s popular Degrassi series generated record traffic to the site, Miller said.
“If you’re watching the show and you’re intrigued with what’s going on, the minis will contain more of the back story of the relationship between the characters and deepen the mystery, and give clues as to what’s going on in the show,” Miller said.
Whistler is one of two new dramas the network will premiere next month: Beyond The Break, a 30-minute show that looks at the competitive world of professional surfing, debuts June 2. The N has ordered 20 installments.
The first eight episodes of Break will be supplemented by two-minute Webisodes that offer never-before-seen clips.
Further, the N’s Web site will feature exclusive Beyond The Break video clips, additional episodic information, cast profiles and character descriptions, according to the network. Fans of the series will also be able to download wallpaper for each of the series regulars.
“With all of our shows, we’re making sure we are reaching out to our audience on all of the screens they’ love to consume entertainment through,” Miller said.
On May 1, The N will debut off-network acquisition Summerland, which will be joined by another series from The WB, Dawson’s Creek, in September.