'Cell' hears call of Fox Int'l Channels

Web-based shortform drama will launch in October

LONDON -- In a move that underlines the growing significance of the market for Web-based drama, Fox International Channels has acquired its first show for online broadcast, "The Cell," which will be aired across its network of Web sites beginning in October.

Produced by Endemol, "The Cell" is a shortform drama about a man who wakes up to find himself locked in a prison cell in a lawless jail with no recollection of how he got there. The 20-part series was specifically produced for online and mobile broadcast and the two-minute episodes already have aired on U.K. mobile operator O2's network as well as Sony's online video service Crackle.com in the U.S.

FIC vp global online publishing Pablo Silva said the purchase will be the first of many. "This is a very exciting project for us and something we intend to do more and more," Silva said. "We already have our eyes on a number of other properties, similar shows that we can launch in the same way."

Financial details were not disclosed.