I’m a little ashamed to admit that Cougar Town is one of my guilty pleasures, so I was totally psyched when I read that ABC had launched a companion web series, Andy’s Dreams. The six-part webisode series features “the unbelievably satisfying dreams of Andy Torres”, the husband of Jules’ (Courtney Cox) neighbor and best friend Ellie (Christa Miller).
Two of the six webisodes have already been released and the remaining webisodes will be released on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM PT through February 9. Andy’s Dreams stars Ian Gomez as Andy, Christina Miller as Andy’s wife Ellie, and Brian Van Holt, who plays Andy’s best friend Bobby Cobb and the ex husband of Courtney Cox’s character, Jules. Check out the first to episodes below, which feature dreams of Bobby becoming the Penny Can champion of the world and a zombie dream inspired by the movie mash-up title, “Night of the Living Dead Poet’s Society”.
Cougar Town isn’t the only companion web series to be launched by ABC. Back in November they launched a Grey’s Anatomy web series, Seattle Grace: On Call and they previously launched an Ugly Betty web spinoff in 2009 called Mode After Hours. Other networks have launched companion web series for popular shows as well, including Dexter, Weeds, Heroes, and more.
The networks usually say that their reasoning behind branching out into web series is based upon pure desire to bring more content to the fans of these different shows. However, I’m inclined to question whether or not networks are launching all of these companion web series because they are witnessing the online video boom and see the need to cross over in order to survive as more and more viewers are choosing the web over traditional television. With more and more viewers watching online the networks surely are missing out on some much-needed ad revenue. Launching web series gives this too them.
Andy’s Dreams, for instance, is sponsored by Diet Dr. Pepper (you may have noticed that the tagline, “the unbelievably satisfying dreams of Andy Torres” is reminiscent of Diet Dr. Pepper’s “Unbelievably Satisfying” campaign). With this Cougar Town companion web series, ABC is able to monetize the show to a further degree while satisfying viewers with extra content and giving viewers a reason to come to the ABC website to watch the network’s content, rather than viewing it elsewhere.
What do you think of Andy’s Dreams and companion web series in general? Do you think networks are moving in the right direction by launching extra online-only content for their popular shows?