Den’s ‘Chad’s World’ a TV first

Internet to receive episodic program

The Encino-based Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) has launched production on “Chad’s World,” a teen-skewed half-hour drama that represents the first-ever serialized episodic TV program produced expressly for the Internet.

Series of six episodes plans broad and narrowcast distribution on the World Wide Web in May. It stars newcomer Brian Stark as Chad, a conflicted teen whose best friend has just committed suicide after telling his parents that he’s gay.

Show explores Chad’s coming of age and emerging sexuality as he goes off to live with his gay brother Kevin (Dan Thiel) and Kevin’s partner Jim (SeannWilliam Scott).

James Hickox directs and Marc Collins-Rector executive produces “Chad’s World.” Working with DEN and attorney Susan Grode, Collins-Rector helped land with “Chad’s World” the first SAG agreement for actors working an Internet project.

Web surfers who tune to the “Chad’s World” website for the first installment will find the subsequent five episodes automatically downloaded to their computers via a “smart engine” and will be able to watch the series at 30 frames per second (the same speed as broadcast TV).

Collins-Rector said that the half-hours will be conventionally sponsored, with 22 minutes of show and eight minutes of ads. But he stressed that only 50,000 web viewers are required to turn a profit.

“When you consider that there are two million gay young people between the ages of 12 and 19 who spend two hours a day online, that’s a big audience to tap,” Collins-Rector added.

DEN has plans to launch seven series programs on the Internet by year’s end.