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Yahoo launches original series

August 30, 2011 |  1:21 pm

MorganspurlockStory
Embattled Internet giant Yahoo plans to launch a series of original programs this fall as it seeks to better capitalize on its sizable audience.

Yahoo will debut eight short-form series, starting Oct. 3, which feature such actresses as Judy Greer ("Love & Other Drugs") and Niecy Nash ("Reno 911") and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me"). 

Forthcoming programs include Spurlock's "The Failure Club," a documentary series about conquering the fear of failure; "Let's Talk About Love," a weekly relationship show hosted by Nash, and "Ultimate Proposal," which depicts unusual marriage proposals -- including a prospective groom arriving via parachute -- hosted by "All My Children's" Cameron Mathison.

These new Web series are an extension of Yahoo Executive Vice President Ross Levinsohn's strategy to  bring more premium entertainment to the Internet portal, which is already among the top online destinations in the U.S., attracting about 178 million monthly visitors, according to measurement firm comScore.  

Yahoo has already gained traction with original programming. The company claims its "Prime Time in No Time," a daily video recap of the previous night's prime-time network shows, is among the Web's most viewed original series.

Yahoo also has expressed interest in acquiring Internet television service Hulu, which is owned by News Corp., Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal, the Walt Disney Co. and Providence Equity Partners. Preliminary bids for Hulu were submitted earlier this month.

Yahoo's original content play was first reported by the industry trade publication Variety.

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-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Morgan Spurlock. Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.

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