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Log On L.A.

Networks Hit Net to Promote New Shows

September 15, 1996|Jaclyn Easton | Jaclyn Easton is the host of "Log On U.S.A.," which airs Wednesdays on KIEV-AM 870

The new television season should give rise right away to at least a few breakout hits.

But don't expect those programs to sprout on the Internet quite as fast. Cyber-history demonstrates that it takes some time for fans to create newsgroups, Web pages and e-mail discussion lists.

Taking advantage of this minuscule window of opportunity, the major television networks are, for the first time, fully positioned to be the initial source of background information on their shows--much of it available even before the shows launch.

Clicking on the "New Fall Programs" grid on ABC's Web site, http://www.abc.com, offers a wealth of information about the network's eight new shows, down to the height, eye color and birth dates of their stars. People with fast Internet connections can even view clips of each program. Furthermore, in the CyberCity section called ABC3D it's possible to view three-dimensional press photos with free 3-D glasses offered through the site.

CBS' "Eye on the Net," at http://www.cbs.com, gives a well-rounded overview of its fall offerings, including a hyper-linked grid of the network's prime-time schedule that leads to show descriptions, including cast photos, bios and contact information. Perhaps the most interesting reading is CBS Entertainment President Leslie Moonves' "New-Season Strategy," a treatise on the network's prime-time approach. This effusive but informative document details CBS' fall programming decisions from time placement considerations to the value of star power.

The "Fall Season Spotlight" for NBC found at http://www.nbc.com/entertainment is distinctive for its clickable inventory of shows and stars. For example, if after the premiere of "The Profiler" you simply must know more about its lead, Ally Walker, a few mouse clicks will provide a complete bio, including such notable facts as her decision to leave a career in recombinant biology to pursue her love of acting.

Contrary to the prelaunch stance of the other networks, Fox Broadcasting is premiering its new-show Web sites the day each program launches. Go to http://www.foxworld.com/showindx.htm, then click on "shows." There's background information, bios and other germane interactive options, such as games developed specifically for each program. Fox is also seeking feedback from viewers, encouraging them to submit opinions of the new programs with the promise that they will be read by the network and the show producers.

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