WB Network Reborn Online

NEW YORK Warner Bros. Television Group will launch TheWB.com as an ad-supported broadband home for its programming, new short-form series and related content.

The site, which will debut in beta next month and officially launch in August, is a reimagining of the WB TV network, which was shuttered in 2006, and is targeted at a 16-34 demo. It will present such old shows from the channel as Gilmore Girls and Smallville along with WBTVG productions that aired on other networks, including Friends, The O.C. and Veronica Mars.

“We’re in the multiplatform storytelling business,” said WBTVG president Bruce Rosenblum during a Monday press conference, “no longer just the TV business.”

This is the latest project in WBTVG’s online strategy of developing ad-supported destinations based on demographics.

The company’s Telepictures Productions has seen success with its TMZ franchise, a joint venture with Time Warner’s AOL. Last year, it launched MomLogic, a mother-focused Web site and ad network. Last week, WBTVG announced a multiplatform partnership with Time Inc.’s Essence magazine.

Under its Studio 2.0 banner, WBTVG also will present original short-form content on TheWB.com. Writer-producer Josh Schwartz, director-producer McG and director-producer Gary Auerbach have signed to create projects for the destination.

The site also will have distribution arms on AOL and Comcast’s Fancast and VOD platforms. In addition, Facebook users will be able to access TheWB.com through the social network, and the WBTVG site will have Facebook features built in.

Also on Monday, the company launched KidsWB.com, featuring a virtual world centering on WB cartoon characters. This was first announced last year under the name T-Works.