MTV Developing Original Web Shorts

NEW YORK MTV said it is developing a slate of short-form programs geared for its various broadband and mobile platforms.

While most of the content produced to date for platforms like MTV Overdrive and MTV Mobile has been either repurposed or supplemental clips from various network shows or music videos, MTV said it plans to churn out more original short-form fare going forward.

The expansion comes as MTV looks to make inroads online, after parent company Viacom failed to purchase MySpace in July 2005. MTV Overdrive, its broadband destination, is the hub of its initiatives, and it also is building virtual worlds modeled after hit series like Laguna Beach.

“MTV is in the content creation business, and in particular, celebrates a long history of creating buzz-worthy short-form content, dating back to our infamous spots featuring Dennis Leary and Jimmy The Cab Driver,” said Brian Graden, president of entertainment, MTV Networks Music Group. “In that tradition, earlier this year we created dedicated short-form development teams, and began partnering with the creative community . . . to assemble a diverse slate of exciting concepts, the first of which debut with today’s announcement.”

In addition, as a potential outlet for these upcoming series, MTV Overdrive also has launched The Stew, a broadband offshoot of MTV’s irreverent and edgy Sunday Stew programming block. The Stew is also home to several classic MTV clips, such as Dennis Leary’s famous rant on Cindy Crawford.

Amp’d Mobile has signed on as launch sponsor for The Stew, with ads running on air, online, via mobile and at the MTV store in Times Square. One aspect of the Web marketing will look to tap into the current vogue for user-generated content. Amp’d plans to solicit shorts from fans for airing through Amp’d and The Stew.

Like MTV Overdrive, The Stew will carry pre-roll video ads, both 15- and 30-seconds long, according to an MTV representative.

Included in a dozen or so short series in the works are Chloe, a teen soap, Magical Realm, a collection of mature fairy tales, and Gamer’s Chronicles, which follows a group of New York-based gamers dealing with personal issues.

Other short-form series in development include My Tunes, a show that features fans and artists collaborating on new songs, and Paul Booths’ Tattoo Theater, which examines the work of a renowned New York tattoo artist.