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Virgin preps interactive TV

Development deal inked with ACTV8.ME

Virgin Produced has inked a development deal with ACTV8.ME to produce interactive versions of TV shows it will launch across various platforms.

The shingle, that serves as the film and TV arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin empire, sees the ACTV8.ME deal as a “pioneering step into the unscripted television business,” according to Virgin Produced co-founder and CEO Jason Felts.

ACTV8.ME specializes in creating apps to accompany TV shows, and has similar deals to serve as the second-screen interactive partner for Mark Burnett Prods., Fox Broadcasting, and the Oxygen Network.

Earlier this month, Fox acquired a small undisclosed equity stake in ACTV8.ME, which launched an iPad and iPhone app that delivers content synchronized to episodes of “New Girl” (Daily Variety, April 3). The app has social games tied to the series that keeps score among users. Fox plans to launch additional apps for its other series to engage viewers with their shows.

ACTV8.ME has created similar apps for series including NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” and Oxygen’s “The Glee Project.”

ACTV8.ME will focus on creating TV properties that pair up with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Virgin Produced, whose film credits include “Limitless” and “Immortals,” launched its own channel onboard Virgin America this month for which it produces original content. It plans on launching additional channels for the company’s other businesses, including its other airlines, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Hotels that will provide ACTV8.ME with “a unique platform to develop and launch high-quality interactive content for the domestic and international marketplace,” said ACTV8.ME CEO Brian Shuster.

Virgin Produced’s upcoming film releases include The Farrelly Bros’ raunchy laffer, “Movie 43,” and “21 & Over,” helmed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (“The Hangover”).

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