Consider, if you will, the dearly departed Michigan J. Frog‘s network, the WB.
Did you sort of zone out? Me, too. A mere year and a half after the network — in combination with rival UPN — morphed into the CW, the WB is a vague memory. But in its heyday, the network aired some of our favorite soapy series: Charmed, Popular, Roswell, Gilmore Girls, Smallville and … let’s see, what am I forgetting? Oh, yeah — a little show about a vampire slayer.
The WB was something of a guilty pleasure for me. I never admitted to watching Felicity or Dawson’s Creek, but magically knew every detail of every story arc.
But aside from the genius that is Buffy, the most important accomplishment of the WB for many of us is that it launched the careers of quite a few of Hollywood’s hottest young women: Katie Holmes, Keri Russell, Michelle Williams, Katherine Heigl, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Eliza Dushku, Jessica Biel, Carly Pope, Tammy Lynn Etheridge (née Michaels) and at least a dozen more.
And I’ve forgiven the network for its untimely cancellation of Birds of Prey since the DVD finally will be released in July.
Thanks to reruns and sites like Hulu, we can watch a few of these shows again. But now Warner Brothers has announced the beta launch of its new interactive, video-on-demand site, TheWB.com, that will let us do much more than just watch. In fact, the site sounds like a lesbian mashup fan‘s dream come true.
TheWB.com plans to "re-release" a collection of the WB network’s most popular series along with original programming and Warner Brothers series that originally ran on other networks. What makes this site unique is the incorporation of technology that lets viewers "play with" the shows and share content on Facebook. According to the press release: "Users will now be able to take ownership of these cherished characters and relationships and bring them into their homes on their own terms, customizing, reordering, re-editing and reinterpreting these shows in a very personal way."
Did you get that? Re-edit! "Through TheWB.com, users will be able to take an unprecedented level of control over their own entertainment experience by easily editing, remixing, and literally ‘playing’ with their favorite shows. We’re giving the users final cut."
So far, TheWB.com programming will include Friends, Smallville, One Tree Hill, Buffy, All of Us, The O.C., Gilmore Girls, The Wayans Bros., Veronica Mars, Everwood, Roswell and others yet to be announced.
OK, I don’t particularly want to see a Gilmore Girls mashup.
But Buffy/Faith or Buffy/Willow? Yes, please.
Kevin Winter/Staff, Getty
And I’ve always thought Buffy and Veronica Mars would make a cute couple.
A three-way among the women of One Tree Hill? Why not? They’ve already shared all the men on the show.
Add some Warner Brothers properties that could show up eventually and you might get C.J. Cregg with Brenda Johnson. Or Dr. Liz Cruz with Dr. Abby Lockhart. Thinking about the possibilities boggles the mind.
TheWB.com’s beta launch is some time this month, with a full launch in August. You can start planning your editing strategy at the site’s Facebook page. Meanwhile, let us know what you plan to do with TheWB.com.