MySpace to air its first scripted show

Users to offer plot suggestions for 'Roommates'

MySpace begins airing its first original scripted production today. “Roommates” is a faux reality series designed to mimic the success the company had with “Prom Queen.”

Unlike Michael Eisner’s “Prom Queen,” which debuted on MySpace but was not exclusive, MySpaceTV is co-producing “Roommates,” airing it exclusively and will retain creative control to respond to plot suggestions from MySpace users.

“Users can suggest storylines, and we will take input from viewers from Seattle to Stuttgart who will have a say on where the show should go,” said MySpaceTV G.M. Jeff Berman.

MySpace is co-producing the three-minute webisodes with Iron Sink Media, producer of “Soup of the Day,” and “Noho Girls,” and the series is exclusively sponsored by Ford Motor Company as a promotion for the 2008 Ford Focus.

Series, which follows a group of college roommates after graduation, will air until Dec. 21. Video blogs, confessionals and college flashbacks drive the story.

By financing an original series, MySpaceTV is attempting to broaden its programming from user-generated and syndicated product, such as “Prom Queen,” which debuted on MySpace, but aired across the Web.

“Our users are consuming an enormous amount of content from a range of sources,” Berman said.

MySpaceTV is about to be laden with NBC and News Corp. TV programming as one of the central distribution partners for hulu.com, which is expected to launch a public beta within days.

As a producer of original content, Berman is looking to feed MySpace content onto the system, or to produce shows with “upstream potential” for theatrical release or DVD.