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TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.

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Trial and Error



The Circuitous Path to Comedy Central’s Talking Animals

October 23, 2006 11:40 AM

Comedy Central announced the winner this week of its first ever online talent hunt, Test Pilots. ('Awesome' Video Deal)

I must confess I have already seen the winning video, “Awesome Friends,” and it’s pretty funny. Then again, it includes talking animals and I like to say my three favorite types of films are romantic comedies, epic romances and, naturally, anything with talking animals. So it’s in my wheelhouse.

However, when I watched the clip the first time, I simply clicked on a direct link that the network had sent me. Now I want to give the winner the proper Trial and Error treatment and pretend I am just a regular consumer visiting the site. No one will ever suspect me of being an undercover tire kicker.

So I go to Comedycentral.com. The site has a small, but visible video player for its broadband channel “Motherload” in the righthand corner. A clip from the show “Drawn Together” launches instantly. There’s also a link for “new videos” so I click on that to see if I can find “Awesome Friends.” But the player just disappears. So I hit the link again and the player reappears. Vanishing players – that’s a new trick.

Then I spot a link for “more videos.” That one does indeed take me to the full Motherload channel with the embedded video player and a list of videos. I don’t see the clip under the “what’s new” videos, but a menu above provides links to “TV shows,” “Web shows” and other kinds of videos. I try “web shows” and a thumbnail for “Test Pilots winner” is among the featured videos. Since I’ve already seen the clip, I try fast forward, which works fine and dandy.

The clip isn’t too hard to find. Still, I wonder why networks don’t promote the winners of new original content with more prominent placement. Maybe people are primarily watching TV shows, not the Web originals, when they go to network Web sites.

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