Hanks, Playtone part of online push

BBC Worldwide also greenlights new web series

Two new online series have gotten a big push forward, including one from Tom Hanks and Playtone.

Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone have launched Web-only project “The Three Minute Talk Show,” running on LStudio.com, the content arm of automaker Lexus.

Also, BBC Worldwide Prods. has given a 10-episode order for “Gigi: Almost American,” which will become its first original online series.

“Three Minute Talk Show,” whose segments actually run about six minutes, features Barry Sobel as host, Fred Willard as sidekick and Ben Lee as bandleader, with Hanks as the first guest. A second segment with guest Bryan Cranston has also been posted.

Future guests are scheduled to include Jon Cryer, Johnny Knoxville, Stephen Moyer, Wilmer Valderrama, Ginnifer Goodwin, Cedric the Entertainer, Joe Jonas and Mike O’Malley.

L Studio is also the home of “Web Therapy,” the Lisa Kudrow starrer being adapted into a Showtime series.

“Our goal has been to create an online destination with high-quality, thought-provoking material that consumers would want to return to again and again,” Lexus marketing veep Dave Nordstrom said.

Intelligent Life Prods. produced and distributed “Three Minute Talk Show” in collaboration with Team One Advertising for Lexus. Ron Qurashi and Diane Charles exec produced.

Meanwhile, BBC Worldwide will co-produce “Gigi: Almost American” with website My Damn Channel and comedy troupe the Lost Nomads, which features series creator and star Josh Gad (“Love and Other Drugs”). The Lost Nomads also include Tyler Clancy, Ida Darvish, Kevin Larsen and Tyler Moore.

“Josh Gad is a tremendous talent, and his comedic gifts, along with those of his fellow Lost Nomads troupe members, make Gigi an inspired and innovative series, in line with the quality programming viewers expect from the BBC,” said BBC Worldwide Prods. topper Jane Tranter.

“Gigi” is a laffer about a lovable foreigner who wants to blend into U.S. society despite many hurdles.

“We’ve been developing ‘Gigi’ with BBC Worldwide Prods. for the past year,” Gad said, “and it is truly a passion project for the me and the Nomads. My Damn Channel’s commitment to top-quality comedy programming made it the ideal place to showcase the series.”

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