'Second Shift' spinoff to transport Internet plot to TV

Marking the first sweeps crossover of a network series with its online counterpart, detectives from NBC’s drama “Homicide: Life on the Street” will partner on Feb. 5 with characters from its Internet spinoff, “Homicide: The Second Shift,” to solve an Internet-related murder.

In the episode, entitled “Homicide.com,” the show’s detectives Sheppard (Michael Michele) and Bayliss (Kyle Secor) will team up with “Second Shift” detectives Bonaventura (Michael Ornstein) and Austin (Murphy Guyer) to investigate a ritual murder that is video-streamed over the Internet.

The two teams of detectives will search the Web for traces of the suspects, which leads to an online confrontation between Sheppard and the murderer.

Other network series — the WB’s “Dawson’s Creek,” NBC’s “The Pretender” — have dabbled with introducing new characters on their Web sites before debuting them on the air, but few have crossed over both plots and characters in an episode.

View crime online

Beginning Feb. 3, Internet users will be able to view elements of the case, including a video of the murder using Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, at the show’s Web site, http://www.homicide.com.

Once the episode has aired, fans will be able to return to the site for the online plot’s resolution on Feb. 12 and 19.

Story was developed by NBC Digital Productions and “Second Shift” producer Ayelet Sela and “Homicide: Life on the Street” co-producer Sara Charno. Charno scripted the “Homicide.com” teleplay, while Sela penned the online script.

“Second Shift’s” cops have been sleuthing since 1997. Web site revolves around the lives of a second group of detectives with the Baltimore Homicide Unit who solve cases when their TV counterparts have long gone home.

Previous “Homicide” crossovers with “Second Shift” have included online appearances by the show’s characters, as well as on-air cameos by members of the online cast.

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