NBC converges Web, daytime TV with 'iVillage'


NBC Universal has finalized its plans for the upcoming daytime show "iVillage Live," which the company describes as "daytime's first interactive on-air, online and in-studio experience."

The show, which makes the most of the company's synergistic opportunities, is a collaborative effort involving the NBC Universal Television Stations; iVillage, the women's online community recently acquired by NBC Universal; and the Universal Orlando Resort. "iVillage Live" will broadcast live from the resort, where it will be shot in front of a studio audience.

"iVillage Live," targeted at women 25-54, will focus on topics ranging from parenting and pregnancy to health and beauty to style and lifestyle. The hourlong program is set to debut at noon ET/11 a.m. CT on Dec. 4 on the NBC owned-and-operated stations, NBC Universal's cable channel Bravo and iVillageLive.com, with a rebroadcast at noon PT.

"We felt we needed to take a shot at something different that would (tie) the broadcast platform in with the Web and the interactivity that the Web provides you," said Jay Ireland, president of the NBC Universal Television Stations. "To my knowledge, this is the first time anybody has really tried this, and it's a great template."

In addition to the live show stream, iVillageLive.com will host a daily live chat, portions of which will be discussed during the broadcast and scroll along the bottom of the TV screen; a second live chat will take place for viewers in the Pacific time zone. Viewers also can interact via their mobile phone by texting "IVL 360" to ask questions and share comments.

Episodes will be available on-demand via the Web site for 24 hours after their initial broadcast and then archived online. In addition, a daily poll question and audience comment box will stay open for 24 hours to invite participation and influence the next day's coverage.

"If we get a lot of feedback from the Web site, we're going to move our programming toward what the audience wants so that they can have a real impact on the programming," Ireland said.

Ireland added that he's planning to measure the show's success not just in terms of ratings but also by the level of audience interactivity and results seen by sponsors, whose products will be promoted via on-air integration as well as online, where viewers can find links to purchase the products. Charter sponsors include the Estee Lauder Cos., Healthy Choice, Unilever, Bally Total Fitness, Clinique and GE Profile Appliances.

David Shenfeld, who most recently executive produced WNYW's "Good Day New York," is the executive producer of "iVillage Live." The show will be hosted by Molly Pesce, most recently co-host of Animal Planet's "Backyard Habitat"; Sissy Schaefer, who was co-anchor of "Live on 5" at WEWS in Cleveland; and Guy Yovan, who has appeared on QVC and the Home Shopping Network. In addition, Naamua Delaney and Bob Oschack will serve as contributors, with Delaney serving as "Internet ambassador" and Oschack giving "man on the street" reports.

The show, which has been in the works for several months (HR 3/27), will replace mostly interim programming on the O&Os, Ireland said. For example, WNBC New York will replace its "NYC TV" programming, which is airing at noon and will continue to air on WNBC's digital station, while KNBC Los Angeles will replace its hour of locally produced shows "YourLA" and "Local Story." KNBC will shuffle its schedule starting Monday, with "The Megan Mullally Show" moving to 3 p.m., "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" moving to 4 p.m. and "YourLA" plus a repeat of "Access Hollywood" moving to noon -- the slot that "iVillage Live" will take over Dec. 4. "YourLA" and "Local Story" will continue airing after that date, though it's yet to be determined where.

"iVillage Live" is produced by the NBC Universal Television Stations, under the direction of Steve Schwaid, senior vp news and programming.
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