January 12, 2009

Showtime gives ‘Tara’ big online launch

U.S. pay cable network Showtime says it will make the first episode of its new show The United States of Tara freely available on hundreds of Internet sites.

In what it calls one of the largest content distribution campaigns ever done to launch a new original series, CBS-owned Showtime Networks Inc. said Monday it will make Tara available for free streaming on more than 100 Web sites, including TV.com, Yahoo, YouTube, MSN, Fancast, Veoh, EW.com, Blockbuster.com, CinemaNow, TVGuide.com and Netflix.

Showtime officials said the episode will also be distributed to social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo; popular entertainment blogs such as BestWeekEver.com, Gawker and PopBytes.

Mobile phone users will also be able to watch Tara on Verizon's V-Cast Mobile TV and on AT&T Mobile TV via MediaFLO.

The dark comedy, created by Steven Spielberg and developed by screenwriter Diablo Cody, premieres on Showtime Jan. 18. It stars Toni Collette a housewife with dissociative identity disorder, the network said.