A great example of transmedia storytelling, or at least what promises to be, started earlier this week through The Sci Fi Channel's online distribution of mini-episodes of Battlestar Galactica, leading up to the launch of the show's new season on Sci Fi Oct. 6.
The online episodes will be only a few minutes in length, and Sci Fi will feature 10 of them in all, with a new episode made available each Tuesday and Thursday night until the show's first episode on Sci Fi.
An article by Jonathan D. Glater appeared in Tuesday's New York Times about the launch of the new online series, which will "focus on two soldiers in a new city built by humans fleeing Cylons, a race of machines that has wiped out human civilization everywhere."
According to the network's plans, the webisodes will provide information to viewers about the narrative in the fall and will help provide context and motive for decisions characters make when the show launches on television once again in October.
Glater writes, "These Web segments are a bit of a gamble. Sci Fi executives are betting that people who are only glancingly familiar with the series--whose storyline may be too complicated to follow for those who don't know what happened in the first two seasons--will be able to follow the story told online."
The network will also be launching a show called "The Story So Far," a one-hour recap of what has happened on Battlestar Galactica in the first two seasons, to air on Sci Fi, USA Network, Bravo, Sleuth, and Universal HD, all NBC Universal channels, and also be available on the Sci Fi Web site, You Tube, iTunes, Yahoo, and on United Airlines flights and Universal theme parks, according to Glater.
Glater ties this into the problems between NBC Universal and the WGA over webisodes, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.
I'm interested in seeing how much of a success these episodes are and if they add any new viewers to Battlestar and/or strengthen the connection with existing fans.
Thanks to William Uricchio for passing the Times article along to me.