'Andy Milonakis' getting multiplatformed by MTV

iTunes, others have show before TV

MTV plans to release the entire upcoming season of "The Andy Milonakis Show" on Apple's iTunes a month before its first episode premieres on TV, the network is set to announce Tuesday.

The iTunes window is just one aspect of a multiplatform plan to launch the third season of "Andy Milonakis," which began as an Internet sensation. The series returns to MTV2 on April 27.

"This show has a very sort of cult following, making it best suited to be exploited across platforms," said Brian Graden, president of entertainment at MTV Music Group and president of Logo. "The look of the show also has a very much broadband type of ethos to it. We just thought this franchise seemed perfect for this strategy."

The premiere episode will be offered this week as a free download through iTunes, while the entire six-episode season will be available for $9.99 and individual episodes for $1.99.

Beginning March 27, episodes also will be available for purchase via Amazon Unbox, AOL Video, Wal-Mart Video Downloads and Xbox Live Marketplace for $1.99 each.

MTV Mobile, MTV2.com and MTV on Demand will offer one episode per week beginning the week of March 27. MTV Mobile also will offer "Andy Milonakis" voicetones.

Additionally, during each episode that airs on MTV2, viewers will be directed to a "secret" URL that will feature online footage not used in the show's episodes.

While more networks are experimenting with premiering new episodes online before broadcast as well as offering more multiepisode packages, introducing an entire season online before TV reflects an increasing aggressiveness in digital distribution strategy.

A promotional campaign featuring viral clips across Break.com, iFilm.com, Grouper.com, IGN.com, UGO.com, CollegeHumor.com, MSN.com, TV.com and Hollywood.com will accompany the distribution strategy.

"Andy Milonakis" is based on the comedic antics and interactions among the young Milonakis and his friends. Previously set on New York's Lower East Side, this show this season finds Milonakis in Los Angeles.

Milonakis is one of the first to build a show business career off the Internet.

He gained notoriety in 2003 posting online home webcam recordings, humorous videos and short films.

He not only gained a following on the Web but also the recognition of talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who later featured Milonakis on his ABC late-night show. Those appearances led to Milonakis landing his own show on MTV.

The show is produced by Jackhole Industries ("The Man Show," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Crank Yankers"), the production entity led by Kimmel, Daniel Kellison and Adam Carolla. Tony DiSanto and Tim Healy serve as the production executives on the show for MTV2.