Teams With Microsoft’s WebTV To Create Interactive Season Finale
LOS ANGELES and PALO ALTO, Calif., April 27, 1998 — “Baywatch,”
one of the world’s most popular television programs, today announced plans to team with Microsoft Corp.’s digital television group and WebTV Networks, Inc., to add interactive elements to its three-part season finale. Beginning the week of May 3, the final three
episodes of the season will feature more than 20 interactive TV Crossover Links
Web site listings, enabling users of WebTV Plus
™and the Windows® 98 beta release to access special content on the Internet while watching
The announcement is a result of Microsoft’s relationship with
and marks the first time that multiple episodes of an internationally syndicated television series will be
throughout its broadcast.
is seen in 140 countries around the world and airs in 32 languages. The beach lifeguard drama series has been on the air in the United States since 1991 and is broadcast in more than 100 major markets nationwide.
WebTV Networks’ WebPIP (Picture-in-Picture) technology will allow consumers with the WebTV Plus service to simultaneously watch
and enjoy interactive Web content related to the broadcast – all on the same television screen. When the
season finale episodes air in May, WebTV Plus users will see a transparent
icon on their television screens, indicating that interactive elements are available. In this case, WebTV Plus users who click on the
will be connected directly to Web sites designed specifically for this enhanced TV experience. In addition to the same TV Crossover Links that WebTV Plus users will receive during the broadcast, viewers using WebTV for Windows will receive additional program information directly through the broadcast signal, without connecting to the Internet.
Through these TV Crossover Links and interactive enhancements, viewers will be able to preview upcoming
episodes, view behind-the-scenes photos including Mitch Buchannon’s (played by David Hasselhoff) and Neely Capshaw’s (actress Gena Lee Nolin) wedding album, read character backgrounds, purchase collectible
home videos, enter a contest* to win a WebTV Plus Receiver, and get a sneak preview of Inside Sports magazine featuring a special
“‘Baywatch’ has a large and loyal fan base, and we are committed to giving our fans the best viewing experience,”
said Joseph Scotti, executive vice president, marketing and distribution, Pearson All American Television.
“With WebTV Plus and WebTV for Windows, we are able to bring that experience to the next level by offering an interactive element using the power of the Internet and WebTV.”
The season finale is a three-part special called
The first of the three episodes,
features a jewel thief who tricks Hobie Buchannon (played by Jeremy Jackson) into inviting her on a cruise to Alaska with the other lifeguards. The next episode,
“White Thunder at Glacier Bay Part I,”
features the characters on a cruise to Alaska, where a brush with death intensifies the growing relationship between Mitch Buchannon and Neely Capshaw. In the season finale,
“White Thunder at Glacier Bay Part II,”
Mitch and Neely’s relationship continues to evolve. Check local listings for air and station times or visit (http://www.baywatchtv.com/) for more information.
“In May, viewers of one of television’s most enduring and popular shows will experience enhanced television with WebTV,”
said Chip Herman, vice president of marketing of WebTV Networks.
“We can think of no better way to introduce consumers to WebTV Plus than to create interactive Internet content for an international sensation such as Baywatch.”
WebTV Plus is a set-top box, designed to give viewers a greater level of interaction with their televisions, providing a better way to choose which shows to watch and new ways to enjoy more entertainment, information and services that uniquely relate to those shows. For more information on WebTV, visit (http://www.webtv.net/) .
Following Pearson’s acquisition of All American Television last year, the combined business now owns several production companies, including fremantle.com, Goodson, Grundy, Thames Television and Alomo, and produces programs in some 30 countries around the world. It also owns Pearson Television International, which distributes the group catalog and third-party product around the world.
WebTV Networks Inc. operates the WebTV Network Service and develops the WebTV Internet Terminal, available for $99, and WebTV Plus Receiver, starting at $199. Both are available through the company’s U.S. licensees, Sony Electronics Inc., Philips Consumer Electronics Company and Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics America at U.S. consumer electronics stores nationwide. WebTV Networks, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
* Contest details and rules will be available at (http://www.baywatchtv.com/) .
WebTV, TV Crossover Links and WebTV Plus are either trademarks or registered trademarks of WebTV Networks, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.
Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.