Eisner creates studio for online content


Michael Eisner is launching an independent studio that will produce and distribute original content for the Web and digital platforms.

Dubbed Vuguru, the studio will focus on story-driven projects designed to be consumed on multiple platforms. The venture will be backed by the former Walt Disney Co. chairman's investment firm, the Tornante Co.

"In the past few years, the development of exciting and innovative digital-media platforms and technologies has outpaced the creation of truly great content," Eisner said. "Vuguru will produce and showcase original and third-party content in all genres and formats to meet the new demands of the evolving media landscape."

News of Vuguru's first production -- a scripted, serialized mystery titled "Prom Queen" -- also was unveiled Monday.

Told over 80 90-second episodes, the show's shortform segments are geared toward early adopters of digital content and designed with advertising opportunities on digital platforms in mind.

A significant distribution push accompanies Vuguru's first effort with "Queen," being produced with the independent production team of Big Fantastic -- a deal brokered by UTA's newly formed online division.

In January, Veoh Networks -- the Internet television broadcasting system of which Eisner serves as a board member -- teamed with UTA for the creation of a branded online channel dedicated to identifying talent and showcasing content produced by UTA clients.

While episodes of "Queen" will be available on the studio's Vuguru.com, promqueen.tv, YouTube and Veoh, they also will be accessible through show sponsor Ellegirl.com.