MySpaceTV orders 'Delivery'

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NEW YORK -- Building on the launches of "quarterlife" and "Roommates," MySpaceTV is set to launch Tuesday an unscripted hidden-camera show in which unsuspecting delivery people will get pranked.

The three-minute show, titled "Special Delivery," has an 18-episode first run exclusively on the News Corp.-owned social networking site, with new episodes premiering twice a week.

MySpace gets a co-development credit on the series along with Avalon TV, the producers of the show, which will showcase delivery people helping out with marriage proposals and performing birthday dances for dogs, among other bizarre requests.

The series initially will be sponsored by Frito-Lay/Cheetos, which will be featured in an episode around April 1 and will lend its branding to the show's Web page at myspace.com/specialdelivery. The episode will feature a man with two broken arms asking a flower delivery person to feed him the snack food.

Cristian Cussen, director of marketing and content for MySpaceTV and the executive producer on "Delivery," said that the agreement with Avalon is similar to MySpace's deal with Iron Sink Media, which produces "Roommates" for the site.

A difference in this setup, though, is that MySpace only pushed ahead with the series after it had secured sponsorship. In the first time it had used this "virtually no-risk" strategy, Cussen said they filmed three episodes of the show in the early fall, shopped it around to advertisers and went with the "quickest bidder," Cheetos.

MySpace has hopes that the show, which will be rolling out across all of the company's English-speaking sites, will serve as a format for adoption overseas. If the first season of "Delivery," which was shot around Las Vegas, performs well, the company hopes to tailor it to territories that responded well to the show.

Cussen said that if "Delivery" meets his company's expectations, he expects to have "brands lining up to help us order subsequent cycles."

"This is a format that is so high-concept and outrageous enough for the Internet," Cussen said. "I wouldn't be surprised if it continues and has a long and healthy life."

Cussen noted that "Delivery" highlights a "very big week" for MySpaceTV, as "quarterlife," a show from Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick that debuted on the site last year, will premiere on NBC tonight. MySpace also recently renewed "Roommates" for a second season, and it also has distributed the Vuguru-produced "Prom Queen" and its follow-up "Summer Heat."

MySpace is "piloting a number of concepts," Cussen said, and meeting with content creators in town and abroad looking to make new original programs for the site.

"If we can get users responding to 'Delivery' in a meaningful way and validate our hopes that the Internet is the playground for serialized content, it will give us the encouragement to keep churning out these projects," Cussen said.
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