Icebox finds fond Regards

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The writers strike has helped thaw out Icebox, an online-entertainment venture first launched in the late-1990s dot-com boom.

Icebox is partnering with greeting-card site Regards.com to form Regardsbox.com, a line of irreverent e-cards launched this week to capitalize on Valentine's Day.

The humorous cards were penned by a group of TV writer-producers including the trio that founded Icebox: Howard Gordon ("24"), Rob LaZebnik ("The Simpsons") and John Collier ("Monk").

"We've been helped by the time we had during the strike," LaZebnik said. "We've been pretty busy over the past few months."

Among the heartwarming not-quite-Hallmark messages available at Regardsbox.com include the Valentine's Day sentiment, "I'm slightly more certain of my sexuality when I'm with you."

While many online entertainment ventures went extinct after the first dot-com crash, Icebox has managed to stick around, albeit in much lower-profile form. Productions like the animated program "Queer Duck" have managed to survive on VOD and home video, and newer projects have been produced for new online hubs like GoFish.com.

Now LaZebnik and his partners are hoping to take advantage of renewed interest in Internet content. The venture is working on a documentary with an online component and has an animated pilot presentation under consideration at TBS.

LaZebnik hopes that after the writers strike, online programmers will cement their status in the creative community.

"When we look at our new deal, hopefully companies like Icebox will become signatories," he said. "But in the e-card business, there is no coverage. Yet."
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