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Emmys add broadband-only category

Nominated shows include ‘24’ spinoff, Live 8 concert on AOL
/ Source: The Associated Press

TV programming created especially for cell phones, handheld computers and the Internet has officially arrived as its own medium. Six broadband-specific shows have been nominated in a new category of the Emmy Awards to be given out later this month.

With the rise of a diverse range of programming for computers and mobile devices, the The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences decided last year to recognize the field with the new award. Officially, it’s for “original entertainment programming created specifically for nontraditional viewing platforms.”

Judges hit upon the six nominees after sifting through 74 entries, more than any other Emmy category, spokeswoman Cheryl Daly said Monday.

Befitting the freewheeling nature of these new platforms, the nominees span a spectrum of genres and creators. The only requirement was that the show not appear first on television or elsewhere.

The nominees are:

—”24: Conspiracy,” by News Corp.’s Fox Mobile Entertainment. A spinoff of the Fox TV show “24,” this drama created exclusively for mobile phones has a different cast than the television series.

—“It’s JerryTime!” by Ozone Inc. “JerryTime!” is a quirky, collage-style animated blog chronicling the misadventures of a 40-something single guy.

—Live 8 on AOL. Last July 2, simultaneous concerts were staged around the world to draw attention to global poverty. Time Warner Inc.’s AOL provided live feeds and later offered footage on demand.

—“mtvU Stand In,” produced by MTV Networks’ mtvU, which focuses on university life. The short-form episodes of “Stand In” on Uber, mtvU’s broadband channel, feature celebrities — including such disparate luminaries as Shimon Peres and Cameron Diaz — as substitute teachers.

—“Sophie Chase,” produced by CB Films Inc. This online police show starring Kate Clarke is directed by the man behind “The A-Team” and “MacGyver.”

—“Stranger Adventures: Helen Beaumont,” by Riddle Productions. “Stranger Adventures” is an interactive, online puzzle contest that combines video and e-mail. Each weeklong episode generates clues.

This new Emmy category is not merely an experiment. Daly said the goal is to continue it in future years, with the category possibly breaking up into subgenres, much like other Emmys are awarded for comedies or dramas.

The winner is to be announced April 22 along with the Daytime Emmys in New York.