One of this fall's big programming events wasn't actually broadcast on TV. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, a live-action series geared toward the launch of the new Xbox 360 video game, has become a hit for YouTube, where it runs on the young male-oriented Machinima Prime channel.
YouTube is taking on the traditional TV model in a big way, with the help of major stars, original programs like Halo 4 and big events like Felix Baumgartner's space jump, which broke YouTube user records on Oct. 14. A year after YouTube parent Google unleashed an aggressive $100 million initiative to launch around 100 original programming channels (and committed $200 million to market the channels), viewership on the platform was up 11 percent year-to-year in September.
It's a slow build, and so far YouTube's original programming initiative hasn't produced a hit that was big enough to enter the public consciousness. But according to newly released comScore data, YouTube users spent an average of 419.1 minutes watching video in September, compared to 378 minutes in Sept. 2011.
The creator of HBO's In Treatment and the producer of 2010's Oscar-nominated film Black Swan have teamed up to create a YouTube channel that showcases scripted series, short films and documentaries that feature female characters as leads.
Developed by Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia, WIGS (the name stands for "Where It Gets Interesting") is currently the No. 1-rated scripted channel on YouTube. Its first seven "series" (all named after the central character) have featured actresses including Jennifer Garner, America Ferrera, Julia Stiles, Jena Malone and more.read more
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