SiTv Turns To Web For New Reality Series

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Hispanic-targeted SiTv network later this month will launch a new reality series based on a successful MySpace interactive web series.

Elle & Tito: The Married Life will follow the post-wedding lives of newlyweds Elle and Tito Figueroa, stars from the online series Married on MySpace. The 13-episode series, which aired from March to August on social networking site MySpace, allowed site users to determine via online the events of the wedding, from casting the couple to selecting the bride's dress to choosing the wedding location, according to SiTv officials.
SiTv senior vice president of programming Maria Perez-Brown said the network will air three episodes of Elle & Tito: The Married Life beginning Dec. 11, which will feature new content along with footage culled from the original Married on MySpace web series. SiTv has signed Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company as a sponsor of the three introductory episodes.
Ten additional episodes of the series will premiere beginning March 29.
"The series will explore their lives as newlyweds as well as aspirations to become musicians," Perez-Brown said. "They're just fun, interesting, young and very hip characters that are funny."
While other cable networks have converted web-based shows into television content, Perez-Brown said this is the first instance of a web-based reality series moving to traditional television.
She added the popularity of the Endemol USA-produced Married on MySpace - the web series generated more than 1 million votes from MySpace users and drew a MySpace series record 15 million views - as well as the appeal of the Figueroas to SiTv's Latino-targeted audience, made Married on MySpace a perfect show to spinoff on the network.
"This series really represents the modern Latino experience," said SiTv CEO Michael Schwimmer. "[Elle and Tito] present it well and that's why it works for our network."
Along with the episodes on SiTv, Perez-Brown said the network also plans to take unaired footage from the series and repackage it for distribution as webisodes on MySpace. "There will also be bonus footage not on MySpace that will be available on," she added.
SiTv will continue to search the web for unique and inexpensive series that could be turned into potential hit shows. "We're exploring a new model of cost-efficient production so we'll absolutely look to the web to develop other things," said Perez-Brown. "We're a small startup with limited budgets, so we have to be creative in how we produce these projects."