Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Check Out These Webisodes

It's become chic for TV to start airing mini-episodes of different dramas and sitcoms specifically for the Internet.

Called "webisodes," they usually feature subplots involving some familiar characters, but aren't necessary to catch to enjoy the main series.

"The Office" will launch its first webisode beginning tomorrow at 3 p.m. EST at The webisodes feature regular supporting characters Kevin, Oscar, Stanley and Darryl and center on Kevin's attempts to secure a bank loan to pay off his gambling debts.

Joining "The Office" is "Heroes," which launches its first webisode Monday. Unlike "The Office," "Heroes" is using the webisodes to introduce new characters, but they play like extended commercials for season previews. The first webisode introduces a mailman with a sonic scream as his power.

AFTRA DEAL: The second-largest actors union, AFTRA, voted to ratify a new deal with the studios this week, which likely undermines the position of SAG, the larger of the two guilds which was talking about a strike. With four labor deals now in place, SAG will be hard pressed to commit to a work stoppage.

CASTING UPDATES: Kevin McKidd, late of "Journeyman" and "Rome," is reportedly Sandra Oh's new love interest on "Grey's Anatomy."

Meanwhile, two "Friday Night Lights" regulars, Gaius Charles and Scott Porter (Smash and Jason, respectively) have been dropped down to recurring status. The move makes sense from a dramatic standpoint, since both characters have graduated high school and Smash is now in college. The reduced storylines will allow the writers to narrow their focus a little bit, which should be a good thing.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Tracy Morgan ("30 Rock") hosts the new season of "Scare Tactics" (Sci Fi, 10 p.m.). It follows a new episode of "Ghost Hunters International."

Other than that, the pickings are slim unless you like "So You Think You Can Dance" (Fox, 8 p.m.)


Jonathan said...

I guess I can't blame McKidd for getting himself on a hit show, but it would be a lot nicer to see him in a new series, or heaven forbid, a 2nd season of Journeyman. This is like having to deal with Nathan Fillon going to Desperate Housewives.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, for that matter, I'd have loved a third season of Rome. But it's not hard to understand why an actor would jump aboard one of TV's top-rated shows.

zodin2008 said...

Add me to the list of people who will now miss Kevin McKidd and Jonathan's near perfect analogy of Nathan Fillion to DH is right on the money - people like us are big fans of these actors - McKidd and Fillion - so we will simply have to miss out on them until they go back to doing work on stuff we'd watch (and over my dead body will I watch one more hour of DH or Grey's - yuck) but the upside is it introduces both actors to a much wider, female audience that maybe sticks with them for future, better projects on TV or film?

I am fine with the departures of Smash and Street - it makes sense.

I will have to "remember" to check out these webisodes, but the "Rescue Me" scenario is much better because they are putting them on TV so I don't have to "remember" find them online, my DVR remembered for me.

Frankly, it's annoying to have to watch this stuff on the web, but I will certainly make the effort for "The Office". As for "Heroes", I am not sure I am even willing to commit to a 3rd season of that mess of a show.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, the webisodes aren't essential for viewing the regular series. Each is only a couple of minutes long.