CBS in viral deal with EQAL


CBS is setting a date with the makers of "Lonelygirl15."

EQAL, the production company that created the Internet sensation, has closed a multifaceted deal with CBS that will either supplement existing Eye programs with online extensions or potentially yield new multiplatform programs.

The pact was announced Wednesday at CBS' upfront presentation in New York. One likely beneficiary of the pact is the "CSI" franchise; executive producer Anthony Zuiker told those in attendance that his hit series would begin introducing daily webcasts in the fall as part of a "multimedia cyber experience."

The deal is a nonexclusive partnership that gives CBS a first look at any new concepts EQAL creates that could be used on a combination of TV, Internet and mobile. In addition, EQAL can either partner or consult with producers of CBS programs to help them build online extensions to their series.

"We need people who can think of making this medium more involving and interactive," CBS Interactive president Quincy Smith said. "These guys have cracked the code." (partialdiff)