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Verizon To Sponsor Digital Companion To ABC’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Super-hero drama latest to get an 'aftershow' that could generate viewership, ad deals

The super-agents who track superheroes in ABC’s new ‘Avengers”-themed program “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will star not only in the program that debuts on the Walt Disney network tonight at 8 p.m,, but also a weekly digital program aimed to maximize fan chatter.

Every Monday morning, ABC is set to run “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Declassified,” a “catch-up” program featuring comedian Brett Ehrlich.  The comic will present comedic recaps, sketches and featurettes aimed at bringing fans of the show up to speed before the next episode airs. ABC said it would run three special expanded installments during the course of the TV season that would “explore and celebrate” some of the series’ most “provocative storylines” with surprise guests.

Verizon is set to sponsor the digital effort, which will is now available on ABC.com, Marvel.com, WatchABC.com and the network’s Watch ABC app for smartphones and tablets. Under terms of the pact, Verizon will be featured in the companion program and will be billed as a presenting sponsor of the flagship “S.H.I.E.L.D.” show in both live stream and video on demand airings of episodes on WatchABC.com and the tablet and smartphone app. Verizon will also sponsor a “Declassified” hub devoted to the fan-chat show that features the digital series along with live social feeds, Twitter polling, and sharable clips and graphics.

ABC’s “S.H.I.E.L.D” companion is just the latest in a burgeoning series of so-called “aftershows” aimed at leveraging viewer interest into more audience for network content. FX has unveiled a Web-based program for its “Sons of Anarchy.:” Billed as “Anarchy Afterword,” the program brings cast and crew members before the camera to hash out the latest development in the series. Miller Lite is touted as a sponsor.

AMC launched “Talking Bad,” to give fans an outlet to talk over the newest shockers in the last season of “Breaking Bad” and has already garnered good ratings for “Talking Dead,” an “aftershow” affiliated with horror series “The Walking Dead.” This emerging format nods to the power of social-media and the TV networks’ desire to harness it to generate more audience for programs even as viewers migrate to new methods of watching their favorite series.

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