Web a Presence at TCA Tour


Pasadena, Calif. -- While traditional programming remained the main attraction at the Television Critics Association Tour here, the Web managed to get some face time, as several networks announced content that will have a heavy Internet influence.

User-generated content will play a prominent role in MTV’s June 3MTV Movie Awardsshow, according to TV producer Mark Burnett, who will produce the annual show, which pays homage to the best in Hollywood.

Burnett -- who has produced such reality fare as Survivor and The Apprentice -- said the awards will feature some categories based on Web-based, user-generated content, although specifics have yet to be ironed out.

He added that the MTV generation is so Internet-savvy and regularly frequents such sites as YouTube and MySpace.com that it would be foolish to ignore such content in the MTV Movie Awards.

"If [user-generated content] is important enough for Time magazine to put it on the cover, then it’s important enough for producers and network executives to see its future," Burnett said.

Disney Channel will give its audience an opportunity to influence via the Web some on air-elements of the sequel to Disney's breakout original movie, High School Musical.

Via an online poll that launched last week dubbed High School Musical 2: Play Your Part, Disney viewers have the opportunity to influence some of the dialog in the movie -- set to premiere in August -- as well as which star from Disney hit series Hannah Montana they’d most like to see have a walk-on role in HSM2, Disney Channel Worldwide president of entertainment Gary Marsh said.

The Web will also be a major component of Animal Planet’s new show, Saving Grace, a series that tracks the rehabilitation of a lost sea otter.

The show will debut on the network March 1 as a half-hour episode. Then for the rest of the month, the story will be updated daily with five-minute Webisodes until the end of the month, when the network airs a 30-minute finale.

Sci Fi Channel will allow fans of Battlestar Galactica to create content that could end up on air though a new user-friendly video tool on its Pulse broadband channel. The Battlestar Galactica Video Maker Tool Kit enables fans to create their own short promotional clips for the skein, which can be submitted for on-air consideration, the network said.

Meanwhile, Travel Channel tapped the user-generated space for its on-air talent. Executive vice president and general manager Patrick Younge told Multichannel News the network hired Shane Reynolds, a 30-year-old public-access-television veteran, to develop and host his own show on the channel.

Reynolds -- who first came to attention based on a user-generated tape he submitted for Travel's Five Takes amateur travelogue show -- is currently one of four rotating hosts of the network’s Not Your Average Travel Guide.

Another Five Takes veteran, Tiffany Burnett, has been assigned to be an online-only producer for the channel, Younge added.