John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
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TWoP sells out

The TV Column

By Lisa de Moraes, Washington Post columnist

TelevisionWithoutPity.com, the "spare the snark, spoil the networks" Web site much loved by fans of TV -- and snark -- has gone corporate.

Sigh.

GE-NBC-Universal 2.0 has bought the site for its Bravo bag of broadband channels, including not only BravoTV.com but also the recently launched getTrio.com (which rose like a phoenix from the ashes of cable network Trio), BrilliantButCancelled.com and OUTzoneTV.com, which yesterday wondered on its home page if the flick "300" was homophobic and whether Daniel Radcliffe (a.k.a. Harry Potter), who is now appearing naked in a remake of "Equus," is a "Hero or just another naked actor."

Groan.

Bravo chief Lauren Zalaznick said yesterday in a statement that TwoP will broaden the scope of Bravo's sites to "create a community where smart people with something to say about their favorite shows -- past and present -- can get together under the umbrella of Bravo's pop sensibility."

Moan.

TwoP is known and loved for its "recaplets" and full-blown recaps of each and every episode of reality and scripted series deemed recap-worthy, and for the forums in which viewers rant and rave about these shows. Officially launched in 2002, TwoP attracts about 1 million unique visitors each month and they each spend about 13 minutes on the site each visit. Overall page views clock in at roughly 30 million, according to stats provided by Bravo.

Founders Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting, who started what became TwoP in the late '90s as a place viewers could grouse about "Dawson's Creek," will remain editors.

They attended a Bravo phone conference call yesterday to assure The Reporters Who Cover Television that GE-NBC-Universal 2.0 did not want to bring any kind of influence to bear on the much-loved renegade-ish brand.

"Part of what we found attractive was that Bravo gets what we do and understands our brand," Bunting said. "It was organic in terms of both sides understanding that we do things a certain way and they were okay with that."

No one on the call chose to discuss the dollar amount thrown at Tara and Sarah for the site.

Ariano said they have lots of changes planned: "Right away, we want to add a few shows. Beyond that, we have our eye on doing less dated content, podcasts/audio/video, as well as more news, more interviews and blogs. . . . We will continue doing what we do and add more stuff to make it a destination for every TV viewer."

Sound of collective TRWCT tooth-gnashing.

ETA: well, it wouldn't be a Lisa de Moraes column if it didn't contain something stupid and/or wrong, would it? If TWoP was officially launched in 2002, how did I create my user account there in January 2000? Yes, I know that it was 2002 when the site changed its name from Mighty Big TV to Television Without Pity, but to say it launched then is like saying that the Altria Group was founded in 2003, when it changed its name from Philip Morris Companies Inc.

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