WB.com Gives New Life To WB Shows

With the CW struggling, Warner Bros. isn't sure it wants to let its WB brand drift away. Later this month, it will move beyond beta to an official launch of TheWB.com, a site featuring a VOD library of shows--some of which were on the eponymous network that was in circulation from 1995 to 2006.

The site will be ad-supported, with shows such as "Gilmore Girls" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" offered. But there will also be a run of non-WB series, such as "Friends" and "The O.C," as well as several original series.

"TheWB.com is a new digital destination built from the ground up for the same 16- to-34-year-old audience that embraced The WB (network)," said Brent Poer, the site's general manager.

Warner Bros. is a part owner of the CW, which was formed essentially as a merger between the WB and UPN in 2006. TheWB.com appears to be at the confluence of two interests--Warner Bros.' desire to keep the recognizable "WB" brand going and further build its digital distribution real estate.

Jamie Kellner, who founded and led The WB network, said on an unrelated conference call last week that the CW merger has "squandered a great brand" in The WB.

The site will offer social-networking opportunities, and Warner Bros. said visitors can "re-edit" some shows. Warner Bros. is using Facebook to market the new site.

Word that Warner Bros. was considering launching the site was first reported by Mediaweek.



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