CW Launches Digital Studio, Unveils Online Projects

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Wilson Bethel

Among the upcoming fare: live-action series "Stupid Hype" from "Hart of Dixie's" Wilson Bethel and an untitled Justine Ezarik project.

The youth-skewing CW is expanding into the web space, announcing the creation of CWD, the CW Digital Studio, during its upfront presentation to advertisers Thursday.

Launching in the fall, CWD will spotlight original content focused in the areas of animation, game shows, comedy and digital personalities. The shorter-form content will appear on ahead of the network's series offerings, much as trailers do before movies shown in theaters.

Among the initiatives first four projects, are those featuring Hart of Dixie's Wilson Bethel, who was behind Rachel Bilson's Funny or Die music video "Call Me Doctor" and YouTube sensation Justine Ezarik (aka iJustine). The arm, spearheaded by marketing guru Rich Haskins, is also prepping an animated comedy series centered on a acerbic SoHo gallery owner who gleefully takes down celebrities.

“CWD provides us with the exciting opportunity to create additional content tailored for digital platforms, while still reflecting The CW brand and reinforcing our connection with our digital audience,” said Haskins of the first and fully converged broadcast network. “The digital space allows us to explore unique or outrageous concepts and even different formats that wouldn’t be right for traditional television, but that are perfect for online. We’re so thrilled with our first slate of projects, and we’re excited to work with producers and with advertisers to create new content that will be a great extension of their brand and ours.”

Here are details on the upcoming projects:

  • Gallery Girl, a digital animated comedy series showcasing a savvy, cool and acerbic gallerina who gleefully takes down the celebrities who are brave enough to enter her SoHo art gallery. Armed with her deep knowledge of art and an equally deep reserve of sarcastic attitude towards her patrons, Gallery Girl is fearless towards whomever enters her wake. Executive produced by Brad Roth and Mark Feldstein of Stun Creative, an LA-based advertising agency/production company whose previous digital credits include The Single Life (DBG/Dentyne Ice), Jen & Barb Mom Life (Specific Media), The Writers Room (Crackle/Sony) and Obamourage (Atom).
  • Fandemonium, a combination of a traditional game show and a competition show, where The CW’s 50 million Facebook fans can compete for the title of The CW’s #1 fan, using social media platforms including Pinterest, GetGlue and Klout.
  • Untitled Justine Ezarik Project, starring YouTube sensation Justine Ezarik (“iJustine”), who dispenses advice on her vlog to her followers that she can’t quite seem to get right for herself. Executive Producers are The Tannenbaum Co., Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, The Collective and Richie Keen.
  • Stupid Hype is a live-action series created by and starring Hart of Dixie star Wilson Bethel. Earlier this year Bethel wrote and produced Rachel "Thug Lite" Bilson’s online rap debut, “Call Me Doctor,” which went viral almost instantly after posting on Funny or Die. “Stupid Hype,” chronicles the (mis)adventures of a former breakdancer turned rising rap star in 1990. The series will feature original music from Bethel and his super-producer brother Charlie Bethel, aka Chuck Wild, and will be directed by Dugan O’Neal, twisted creative guru behind “Call Me Doctor.”