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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Sims Creator Will Wright Working On Interactive TV Series

by Rainier on Oct. 7, 2010 @ 11:25 a.m. PDT

Current TV announced that video game designer Will Wright, creator of The Sims and SimCity, will bring his unique talents to television for the first time with a multi-episode series that will give audiences the ability to create and control the show’s storylines and plot developments.  

Anchored by technology that Wright has developed exclusively for Current TV, the series, tentatively titled Bar Karma, will enlist viewers to join an online global community at a special web destination entitled, “Current TV’s Creation Studios.”  At this virtual television studio, users will participate in the development of all creative and technical aspects of production and communicate directly with the producers of the show.

Current has also signed Albie Hecht, former President of Spike TV and President of Entertainment at Nickelodeon, who has served as Wright’s co-creator on the project and will executive produce the series, with his digital entertainment studio Worldwide Biggies serving as the show’s production company. David Cohn, former General Manager of MTV2, will serve as executive in charge for the network.

"Bar Karma is a culmination of over a year's work and I am very excited to see the results as we join together not only gamers and television viewers, but actually create a community that will be empowered with a professional production team,” stated Will Wright.  “To develop and lead an initiative like this fulfills a long held passion for television, and I am thrilled that Current would provide the resources and creative support to bring this to air.”

“I have always been excited by innovation and what we are creating is unlike anything on television,” stated Albie Hecht of Worldwide Biggies.  “The technology that Will has invented empowers viewers to participate, but also provides direct communication to me and my production team.  We will be taking our cues from the viewers, working with them and then quickly producing high quality, original content.  This is truly a paradigm-changing project that will showcase the creativity of the general public in shaping a television series.”

“Current is taking original programming to a new level.  Bar Karma will fuse the power of television, the internet and mobile devices and provide viewers the ability to truly create and control a television series,” stated Mark Rosenthal, CEO of Current.  “Will Wright is a phenomenal creator and we are thrilled he came to Current to launch his first television series.  Together, we hope to move television storytelling beyond passive participation and allow viewers to become true programming partners.”

Bar Karma will be comprised of four key production stages:

  • STEP 1 – JOINING – Viewers will log on to “Current TV’s Creation Studios” at www.current.com/barkarma through their computers and mobile devices and join the online community.
  • STEP 2 – CREATING – Viewers will submit potential story ideas on an ongoing basis.  Each week the show producers will provide the viewing community with a rough outline for the upcoming episode.  Viewers will then have the ability to create various storyboards of unlimited plot possibilities.
  • STEP 3 - VOTING – Viewers will browse, comment and merge various ideas for the episode.  Final proposals will then be reviewed and voted on. 
  • STEP 4 - PRODUCING – After the final storyboard is selected by the community, Hecht and Worldwide Biggies will adapt, shoot, produce and edit the winning storyline into a 30 minute television episode.

ar Karma is scheduled to premiere on Current TV in Q1 2011.  Specifics regarding the launch of the online community site, the production and casting of the show, as well as exclusive advertising sponsorships are to be announced in the coming weeks.

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