Los Angeles — With the use of smartphones and tablet computers growing exponentially, former Disney Studios Vice President of New Media Technology, Gary Kleinman, has announced the launch of FirstRun.tv — a new television network designed to provide new and original programming for online and on-the-go viewers.  Kleinman, who was with Disney for 23 years, announced that FirstRun.tv will offer ten channels covering popular genres including comedy, sports, action, drama, reality, kids & family, talk, instructional, animation, and more.

“Everywhere you look, people are holding the equivalent of a little wireless television set in their hands,” said Kleinman, making reference to iPhones, Droids, other smartphones and tablets.  “With properly built apps, optimized streaming technology, and improving infrastructure, a good viewing experience is now possible on most newer devices virtually anywhere – and it keeps getting better as next-generation smartphones tablet are introduced,” he added.

FirstRun.tv will offer free viewing of original programs produced specifically for mobile and online audiences.  The source of content will primarily be independent producers and creative talent that connect and collaborate via FirstRun.tv’s new sister site, tvPRODigies.com.  tvPRODigies is a free networking site with a structure similar to Facebook, but focused specifically on the independent production community.  Kleinman says, “The idea is to encourage people with great ideas and unsold scripts to use the online resources to bring their own project to life.”  FirstRun.tv will also produce original series via its production arms, StoryArc New Media and HybridSports.tv.  “FirstRun.tv is not another clip upload site.  It will operate with a weekly programming schedule of strategically selected original shows and series,” said Kleinman.

“We are embracing a new way audiences can watch shows, and we’re advocating a new way to produce them as well,” said Kleinman, “not only because it’s dictated by the vastly different economics of the web, but because you can produce in a new way,” he added.  “The new wave of affordable HD cameras are of exceptional quality.  Combined with readily available desktop computer editing software, virtually anyone with a great idea, some know-how, and ambition, is now empowered to produce their own shows.”  Kleinman points to the music industry, where this transition has already taken place.  “Much of today’s music is recorded with Pro Tools software on a Mac in somebody’s home studio.  There is a world of talented writers, actors, directors, and editors out there, and an emerging breed that is very tech-savvy, so the same type of shift is happening with visual entertainment.”

Kleinman notes that the alternative production approach was recently used on a new sitcom, THE CYA, produced by StoryArc New Media.  The series centers on an obsolete, hidden top secret agency — so top secret and so hidden — the government forgot it still exists today.  “It’s the ultimate game of hide and hope nobody is seeking,” said Kleinman.  “Four web episodes were shot using a Canon HD camera and Sony Vegas editing software,” he added.  THE CYA is now featured on FirstRun.tv.

Also premiering with FirstRun.tv’s launch is a horror film spoof series, Almost Scary.  Other new shows gearing up for production include the sitcom, Hard Liquor and a sports show called Golf Rescue Squad.

Independent producers and content creators can submit scripts, shows and ideas at: www.FirstRun.tv/newshows.htm, and join tvPRODigies.com to collaborate with others.  FirstRun.tv shares revenue from advertising, product placement, and merchandising with producers.

Chris Arrant

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