Fiver picks up Bebo’s ‘Diary’

Online teen drama to air on digital web

LONDON — European online interactive teen soap “Sofia’s Diary” is to transfer to the small screen in Blighty in what is being hailed as “a milestone for television broadcasting.”

Channel Five, the U.K.’s smallest terrestrial web, has bought the skein from Sony Television Pictures International (SPTI).

“Sofia’s Diary,” a hit in the U.K. for social networking site Bebo, which commissioned the British version of the show, will air on Five’s upstart digital channel, Fiver, the rebranded name for Five Life.

Said Fiver program topper Hannah Barnes: “Quality programming for 16-24’s is booming on the internet, and our decision to showcase ‘Sofia’s Diary’ shows our commitment to 16-24’s, which is part of our wider strategy in building a further connection with this group.”

Fiver, which bows April 28, is to strip “Sofia’s Diary” across the week in three-minute episodes.

Added Bebo prexy Joanna Shields: “This news represents a milestone for television broadcasting. Fiver’s enthusiasm for ‘Sofia’s Diary’ shows that it wants to play a role pioneering the next stage of entertainment.

“’Sofia’s Diary’ is not simply another video series webcast over the internet: it’s a truly interactive experience based on the concepts of social networking, participation and creative contribution.”

“Sofia’s Dairy,” created by Portuguese studio BeActive, has been rolled out online in seven countries including the U.S. and Portugal, where it bowed in 2003.

It began life as an experimental clip-based web and mobile phone service and was subsequently adapted for TV by Portuguese state broadcaster RTP2.

The UK production is a joint project between SPTI and BeActive.

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