Sony, Grouper light fire online

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Sony Pictures Television and online entertainment company Grouper are launching an online community today inspired by FX's firefighting drama "Rescue Me."

Dubbed "Firehouse: Sponsored by Rescue Me," the new Web site was created to feature original user-generated videos submitted by real-life firefighters recounting their experiences in the field combined with professionally produced content from Grouper.

" 'Rescue Me' has such a passionate fan base that we felt it was essential to find the right forum for members of the firefighting community and the public to be able to share their own stories," said Robert Oswaks, executive vp marketing at Sony Pictures Television. "Grouper has been an invaluable partner to the entire Sony Pictures Television Marketing team in helping to create what we feel is a very organic promotional opportunity."

"Rescue Me," which stars Denis Leary, revolves around the lives of men in a New York City firehouse.

Leary and executive producers Peter Tolan and Jim Serpico created the series, which has earned Emmy nominations for all three.

The new online destination, which debuts at www.grouper.com/fire in conjunction with the series' fourth-season premiere tonight, can be reached through the "Rescue Me" home page of both FX and Sony Pictures.

To promote the site, FX will be airing 20-second ads during the first two episodes of the show's new season.
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