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Echo Bridge Slurps Up Rights to Online Sitcom 'Soup of the Day'

2 Jan, 2007 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Sexy sitcom “Soup of the Day” has never made it onto any of the TV network schedules. But the series, about a guy with three girlfriends, has been a big hit on the Internet. It's gotten 9 million online views since its launch last May with a series of three- to eight-minute Webisodes posted at YouTube.com, Break.com and other viral video sites.

Now, “Soup of the Day” will have its day on DVD, becoming what is believed to be only the second of the new wave of Internet serials picked up by a home video distributor. Echo Bridge Home Entertainment Feb. 6 will release a full-length feature film version of the series in a decked-out DVD ($19.95) that also includes all 19 original Webisodes, various bloopers and deleted scenes, filmmaker commentary, cast interviews and a never-before-seen alternate ending.

Call it the ultimate convergence of new media and old.

“I watch my 15-year-old and it seems to be that, increasingly, programming is being acquired in bite-size pieces,” said Tim Clott, president of Echo Bridge Home Entertainment. “Webisodes are primary to that, and the more we can tap into that, the better. Even if it's early on, it's going to happen.”

Earlier this year, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released pioneering Internet serial “Broken Saints” in an elegant DVD boxed set. During its three-year, 24-episode Internet run, “Broken Saints” attracted 5 million viewers and several prestigious awards, including the Audience Award for Online Animation at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

Scott Zakarin, the “Soup of the Day” movie's director, producer, and co-writer, calls both the film and the original series “audience-empowered relationship entertainment.” Internet “Soup” fans interacted with the characters through social blogging on MySpace.com, he said.

Accordingly, the marketing campaign for the DVD will be focused on the Internet.

Clott said that beyond the DVD, his company is helping Zakarin's Iron Sink Media “with a bundle of rights.” Ironically, one of the ultimate goals is to get “Soup of the Day,” the cutting-edge Internet serial, on TV.

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