Globe, Monkey strike accord
Teen-skewed social networking site Bebo, recently acquired by AOL, has commissioned another online drama — this time a tie-up involving Universal Music’s U.K. production arm Globe Prods.“The Secret World of Sam King,” a co-production with upstart U.K. indie Monkey Kingdom, aims to blend fact and fiction in the setting of Universal’s London HQ. The story revolves around the eponymous hero, a Universal Music employee, who secretly forms his own startup label in the post room. Action will draw on real-life experiences plus cameos from Universal artists. Sam’s love interest Kate and best friend Johnny will feature in a spin-off show, “Katie’s Love-in,” and a podcast respectively. Bebo’s CEO Joanna Shields said: “This is a hugely exciting new commission for Bebo and a first between a social network and a music company. We’re confident that the subject matter for ‘The Secret World of Sam King’ and the opportunities for involvement will resonate well with our community.” In common with previous Bebo dramas “KateModern” and “Sofia’s Dairy,” the show is financed by product placement arrangements with teen-centered brands. Following recent sale to AOL, Bebo aims to increase its popularity in the U.S. and repeat its U.K. success where its online dramas are a big draw for its core audience of teenage girls and have helped differentiate the site from MySpace and Facebook.