HBO on Monday announced that it will try to use the Web in a slightly different way than its colleagues at NBC and Fox have used it with Hulu: it will launch its own Web video series called “Hooking Up.”
Jessica Rose of “lonelygirl15” fame will star in the new show and will be accompanied by video bloggers, sxePhil and KevJumba. The 10-part show will start airing on October 1 and will be offered on its own site, Hookingupshow.com, as well as MySpaceTV, and YouTube.
Ironically, HBO said it will not monetize the show during the first year. Instead, it will let users watch the show during the first year and try selling advertising if the show continues for another season.
More importantly, “Hooking Up” is just the first major announcement HBO has made with its HBOlab brand, which aims at expanding online programming and establishing the company a foothold online. But the question remains: can TV networks establish the same basic business model online? Hulu’s success suggests it’s easier to place TV content online instead of creating original content.