CBS Interactive, Eqal Launch Online Community

Harper's GlobeCBS Interactive and the creators of lonelygirl15 on Wednesday launched a social media platform to drum up support for the upcoming CBS TV series "Harper's Island."

Produced by Eqal--the digital studio that created the hit Web-series lonelygirl15 and features original content designed to introduce audiences to the mythology behind Harper's Island--a vacation destination in the Pacific Northwest from which visitors rarely return alive.

For Eqal, the partnership represents a cautious strategy in an unforgiving business climate, according to Miles Beckett--who, along with Eqal co-founder Greg Goodfried, is executive-producing Harper's Globe.

"We've gone toward partnerships and away from launching original properties because the market is so terrible," Beckett said on Wednesday during a panel at the 2009 Media Summit in New York.

On the new site, fans can become part of the experience by viewing videos, interacting with the story, participating in the lives of the characters and communicating with the online community.

The weekly original episodes featured on the site are designed to complement the TV show's story line with overlapping characters, locations and plots, which will continue to evolve throughout the first season.

In addition to being available on, all content will be available at,, CBS Mobile and across the CBS Audience Network.

Still, according to Beckett, it hardly matters where consumers experience the content he's producing, as long as they experience it. "Ours is a super-syndication plus aggregation model," he said. "We don't care where the audience is."

The 13-week mystery series is slated to debut on CBS on April 9.

CBS Interactive and Eqal first partnered nearly a year ago to develop original projects, and provide first-look opportunities on multiplatform show concepts.

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