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Yahoo! TV Makes History With The 4400

Doug Caverly
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-22

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The USA Network and Yahoo! have made cable history. A special episode of The 4400 premiered exclusively on Yahoo! TV. It will run there for one week before migrating to NBC Universal websites, and then to cable television.

The 4400 Special: Unlocking the Secrets was a one-hour special that covered the most important moments from seasons one and two of the series. It was intended to both familiarize new viewers and refresh faithful fans.

After debuting on Yahoo! TV on May 21, the show will move to the USA and Sci Fi Channel websites. One week later, the episode will finally be aired on three cable channels owned by NBC Universal-USA, Sci Fi, and Bravo.

Online television offerings are becoming increasingly popular. Many shows become available through the controlling company's website after they are air. They may additionally be offered through the iTunes service. But for a cable TV episode to make an appearance on the Web before hitting the TV is a new development.

Additionally, USA has plans to expand the content on The 4400 site. It is already one of the USA Network's largest communities, and the additions will include audio podcasts, weekly character blogs, behind-the-scenes interviews, weekly writer and producer blogs, character back-stories, and preview clips. These are being advertised as Web exclusives.

The rollout of this episode was intended to maximize "sampling and viewership," according to the network. It also roughly coincided with the release of the second season of The 4400 on DVD.

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About the Author:
Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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