'Carey' Webisode snares 2 million online hits

The first streaming Webisode of ABC laffer “The Drew Carey Show” from Warner Bros. Online attracted nearly 2 million visits, capturing more viewers online Wednesday night than most cable programming.

Warner Bros. Online also said Thursday it has inked a pact with actor Chris O’Donnell to begin producing original content for its upcoming entertainment hub Entertaindom, sometime in the next year.

While watching “Carey’s” regularly scheduled TV show on ABC, Netizens also used Microsoft’s Windows Media Player to watch what happens inside Carey’s house when he’s at work, including Ed McMahon failing to find Carey to hand him a $1 million check, and dogs and ghosts throwing a bash inside the house.

Warner Bros. is using the Webcast to tease its new online streaming video venture Entertaindom, which officially bows Nov. 29. Its event slate includes a weeklong Netcast of the new Metallica album.

The “Drew Cam” sweeps event was exec-produced by Bruce Helford and produced by Warner Bros. Online in association with Warner Bros. Television and ABC.com.

Tech partners for the event included Akamai Technologies, Don Mischer Technologies, E-Media, Enron Communications, Globix, Ibeam, InterVu, SandPiper-Digital Island and Sonic Foundry Media Services.

“This is a television-Internet first,” Warner Bros. Online exec VP Jim Banister said. “Not only was the program entertaining and evolutionary in its cross-media creative expression, it also gave birth to a new paradigm in how to reach large audiences via streaming media.”

Ratings for “Drew Cam” may have topped the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and MTV’s NetAid events, which so far rank as the most watched video broadcasts online.

Warner Bros. Online also said Thursday that O’Donnell has handed over management of his Web fan sites to Warner Bros. home page community AcmeCity, the latest example of an actor attempting to protect his image on the ‘Net.

O’Donnell has 57,000 fansites on Yahoo! GeoCities, alone.

Warner Bros. will also help steer the official Web presence of O’Donnell’s George Street Pictures, which produced “The Bachelor” and the upcoming CBS telepic “Miracle on the 17th Green.”

O’Donnell said he will produce yet-to-be-determined programming for Entertaindom in the coming year.

“I want to begin building a core audience of Internet-based fans today because producing entertainment programming (online) will mean a lot more than making movies in the future,” O’Donnell said.

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