Showtime Networks and Electric Sheep to Launch 'The L Word(R)' in Second Life
Creates virtual reality universe for fans of hit show

NEW YORK, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Showtime Network's The L Word, continuing its ground breaking efforts to stay connected with its loyal and passionate fan base, will become the first cable television original series to go virtual with the launch of The L Word in Second Life on January 22.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060131/SHOWTIMELOGO )

Created by The Electric Sheep Company, "The L Word in Second Life" is a 3D experience that will take visitors into a virtual reality world inspired by the show. The virtual world will have many features, including the following:

    * A neighborhood cafe that serves as the hangout for The L Word
      characters.  Called "The Planet", the cafe will host various Second Life
      events such as speed dating and group discussions about episodes of The
      L Word.
    * A virtual amphitheater supported by real-time video, audio, and text
      with a 50-60 person seating capacity.  Second Life users will have the
      ability to screen select episodes of The L Word and behind the scenes
      clips.  Live events such as Trivia Night and weekly chats with special
      guests and cast members from the show will also take place at the
      amphitheater.
    * A virtual Dance Club that will feature various theme nights, stream live
      audio, and have special events hosted by DJs.
    * Stores with virtual merchandise available for purchase for users to
      customize their avatars.
    * A customized registration and orientation experience that is catered to
      The L Word fan, teaching new users the basics of Second Life and easing
      their transition to the virtual world.

Second Life is a 3D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively. It is a digital world of users who make their own creations using a simple but sophisticated set of 3D modeling tools and a powerful scripting language. Second Life is the true incarnation of interactive television and demonstrates how to turn disparate audiences into vibrant communities. The community will get to determine much of the expansion plan of the virtual The L Word, with users defining the project's direction.

Residents can design and build models of practically anything imaginable, including homes, vehicles, clothing and fully interactive games. By selling their creations, residents can make real world money trading the in-world currency (the Linden Dollar) for US$ on the LindeX currency exchange. Many other real life companies have developed a presence in Second Life including IBM, American Apparel and Reuters News Service.

Throughout the four seasons that Showtime Networks has aired the popular and ground-breaking original series, it has forged a unique relationship with the show's loyal and passionate fan base. This vibrant community has transcended the boundaries of the traditional television experience and embraced the unlimited world of broadband so they can stay connected with the spirit of the show. As a result of the countless fan sites, chat rooms and blogs and the recently launched social network site, OurChart.com, the show has one of the highest profiles on the web.

"Virtual worlds are one of the hottest emerging areas and we're thrilled that The L Word will become one of the communities in Second Life," said Robert Hayes, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Showtime Digital Media Group. "It's very exciting to be working with Electric Sheep on this great technology."

"Virtual worlds are the first communication medium to allow individuals in different places to have shared interactive experiences in a 3D environment," said Sibley Verbeck, CEO of The Electric Sheep Company. "Bringing in the fan base of The L Word and enabling them to create their own community is a defining use of virtual world technology and the true creation of interactive television."

"The L Word on Second Life," is available for download and a special orientation at http://www.sho.com/site/lword/second_life.do

About Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME(R) TOO(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE(R) and TMC XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD(TM), SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(TM) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM). All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL, a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME(R) PPV.

Source: Showtime Networks

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