Web series to become reality show

The future of “Married on MySpace” couple Elle and Tito will play out on SiTV.

Endemol USA is spinning off the popular Web series as the reality show “Elle & Tito: The Married Life,” which will air on the Latino broadcaster beginning in March.

While scripted online series — like “Quarterlife,” “Easy to Assemble” and “In the Motherhood” — have been picked up by TV networks in the past, the “Married” deal is considered the first time a Web series has continued on as a reality show on TV.

The selling point was the charismatic couple of Elle and Tito, who won over online auds.

The 13 episodes of “Married on MySpace,” which ran from March through August, generated more than 15 million views, 500 threads on forums and more than 1 million votes from MySpace users, making it the most-watched original series ever produced by MySpace. Elle and Tito also made 340,000 friends on the site.

MySpace users had a connection to Elle and Tito considering they were able to cast the couple that would star in the show, vote on which dress Elle should wear, choose the couple’s rings and pick the wedding location.

“You already have a built-in focus group,” said David Armour, VP of digital at Endemol USA. “People are engaged in the lives of this couple, the storyline of this couple. When you look at how many people rallied around this couple, that’s something you can walk into a network with and show.”

Endemol USA, behind ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” NBC’s “Deal or No Deal,” and CBS’ “Big Brother,” produced the online series and wanted to use the TV show to follow Elle and Tito’s post-wedding lives, while trying to further their musical careers as singers and songwriters.

“We approached Endemol USA and MySpace with the idea of bringing the Web series to SiTV because Elle and Tito personify the Latino experience in America and are an absolutely perfect fit for our network,” said SiTV senior VP of programming Maria Perez-Brown.

“In addition, the series comes to us with people who want to see more of Elle and Tito and follow them as they begin their married life together.”

MySpace sparked to the TV show because “they’re taking something to the next level and building on the following and the main cast to make something new,” said Jason Kirk, VP of video and entertainment at MySpace.

“The Married Life” will officially bow on SiTV on March 29, but to promote the series, the network will air three introductory episodes in December, using footage from “Married on MySpace.”

As a cross-promotional move, MySpace will air original webisodes, culled from footage from the TV show, a day before each TV episode runs throughout the series’ season.

MySpace is now planning a second season of “Married on MySpace” to bow next year with a new couple, and it has “Coupon Mom,” backed by Endemol and other sponsors, upcoming.

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