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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 9:29 EDT

Millions of Us Brings National Geographic Channel to Lively By Google

July 8, 2008

Millions of Us LLC, an agency specializing in virtual worlds and large online communities, today announced that it has partnered with the National Geographic Channel to bring the network’s new series “L.A. Hard Hats” into the just-launched “Lively” product by Google(TM). Millions of Us is a participant in the Preferred Developer Program for Lively by Google.

Lively by Google lets people create persistent virtual spaces on the web where they can express themselves and communicate with friends in a highly customized way. Users can choose an avatar, dress it up according to their tastes, and use it to make friends and chat. They can also create rooms, decorate them to their liking, and invite friends over. Users are free to move between rooms, have private conversations, or have group conversations and interactions in a given space. “L.A. Hard Hats” will be the first branded content to appear in Lively by Google.

From the producers of “Deadliest Catch” and “Ice Road Truckers,”"L.A. Hard Hats” gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and triumphs faced by the men and women responsible for creating EVO, a 23-story eco-friendly high rise structure in earthquake-prone Los Angeles. Filmed over a two year period, this 6-part series tells the story from the point-of-view of the tradesmen – including ironworkers, concrete crews, electricians and plumbers. In a unique approach, each of the first 5 one-hour episodes of “L.A. Hard Hats” follows a specific trade from the first day on the job until completion of that phase of the project. The sixth and last episode recaps the finishing touches and gives viewers a first buyer’s look at the, as of yet, unopened and uninhabited building. “L.A. Hard Hats” premieres on Sunday, August 3, 2008, with two back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. ET/PT and 10 p.m. ET/PT, then airs regularly Monday nights for 4 weeks beginning August 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The show’s dedicated website can be found at http://www.natgeotv.com/hardhats.

The “L.A. Hard Hats” room in Lively by Google highlights the experiences of workers building the EVO skyscraper. The experience begins inside the National Geographic center in Lively by Google. This virtual building will serve as a showcase and hub for ongoing new projects and upcoming adventures. The virtual building is under intense “construction” and will evolve in tandem with the TV series’ episodes. A caution tape banner invites visitors to step inside and explore a virtual skyscraper under construction. Once inside the space, visitors are transported 23 stories up to an open-air view from the EVO skyscraper’s highest point. Visitors can explore the structure, its many features, and the complex work involved in building the tower, allowing them to investigate areas or projects of interest in greater depth.

“Facilitating NGC’s entry as the first brand in Lively by Google is a landmark achievement for our company, and our objective going forward is to help seamlessly integrate additional brands into this very promising online space,” said Ted Tagami, Vice President, Business Development, Millions of Us. “Through customized 3D online spaces and avatar-based socialization, our clients will benefit from the earliest possible access to our rooms built in Lively by Google.”

“As we continue to expand and broaden our digital presence, NGC is looking to innovative platforms and technology to bring our content to even more viewers in more places,” said Brad Dancer, Senior Vice President of Research and Digital Media for NGC.

About Millions of Us LLC

Millions of Us LLC is an agency specializing in virtual worlds and large online communities. Founded in 2006 and based in San Francisco, the agency’s clients include 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Toyota, Microsoft, and Intel. Additional information is available at www.millionsofus.com.

National Geographic Channel

Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel (NGC) is a joint venture between National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and Fox Cable Networks (FCN). Since launching in January 2001, NGC initially earned some of the fastest distribution growth in the history of cable and more recently the fastest ratings growth in television. The network celebrated its fifth anniversary in January 2006 with the launch of NGC HD, which provides the spectacular imagery that National Geographic is known for in stunning high-definition. NGC has carriage with all of the nation’s major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available to nearly 68 million homes. For more information, please visit www.nationalgeographic.com/channel.