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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Suri, Apple and Shiloh were sitting in their apartment in Los Angeles and decided instead of waiting to become famous, they were going to do it on their own. The actress, producer and singer combined their talents and created a show to document their journey in L.A.

Suri, Apple and Shiloh, characters who use pseudonyms inspired by the famed celebrity children of Tom Cruise, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, are the stars of the new online-only Web series, "Whatever Hollywood" on TheWB.com. The WB television network returned in August as an online network with classic WB shows such as "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "Friends," as well as new Web series from producers like McG and Josh Schwartz.

TheWB.com's tagline is "the next great network won't be televised," and along with new programming, it will offer a social networking environment and other features.

The network was brought back in an online format to pair past shows with new shows created exclusively for the Internet.

Viewers are no longer concerned about the day, date and time of shows on television, said Brent Poer, general manager for TheWB.com.

"This generation is enabled by technology to engage and view content when and where they want," Poer said. "They control the network."

Ashley Richardson, a UF journalism major, thinks television is another form of media leaning toward the Internet like magazines and newspapers are doing already.

"I like certain shows, but I have homework and other things to do, so it is nice to be able to watch them online at my convenience," Richardson said. "It helps you to stay attached to your favorite shows because you can't always schedule your life around TV shows."

Part of the platform for the network is that technology adds to the experience and creates active engagement, Poer said. Viewers no longer want to just sit back and stare at a screen, and they want to have options while viewing shows, such as pop-up quizzes and the ability to edit and mix together episodes, Poer explained.

"Shows should be created for the medium instead of thinking something can be transformed to the medium," Poer said. Internet shows are shorter and more frequent to reflect the viewer's attention span.

Past shows such as "The O.C." and "Gilmore Girls" were brought back for two different types of viewers: the "superfans" and the new generation of viewers.

When conducting focus groups with college students, Poer came across something shocking: Many students do not have cable. They are more concerned with spending money in other areas and watching shows online on their computer.

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Besides starring in her own Web show, Suri watches other television shows online and said a lot of college students also watch shows online because they are so busy.

"The TV and the Internet are going to become one," she said. "These companies are positioning themselves to be ready for that."

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