- - Wednesday, May 2, 2012

YouTube is adding to its original programming by launching channels specializing in female dramas and U.S. Olympic athletes.

The Google Inc.-owned video site announced the new channels Wednesday ahead of an upfront presentation to advertisers. YouTube has sunk more than $100 million into an ambitious project to lure audiences for longer viewings and attract advertisers with higher quality videos.

Filmmakers Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia will launch the channel Wigs, focusing on scripted dramas for women. Also new is a TeamUSA channel from the U.S. Olympic Committee that will feature content ahead of the 2012 games.

The Tribeca Film Festival, which recently concluded its 11th annual festival, is also planning a channel.

Lifetime network unveils new logo, tagline

Lifetime, the 28-year-old female-targeted network, has launched a top-to-bottom rebrand designed to integrate the network’s new programming direction with the sensibilities of today’s multitasking woman.

On Wednesday, the network unveiled a new stylized “L” logo as well as revamped on-air and online graphics sporting the tagline: “Your Life. Your Time.” The tagline will appear in the new logo and via television and digital 30- and 60-second spots. It also will be integrated across the network’s programs, including “America’s Most Wanted” (dubbed “Payback Time”), “Project Runway” (“Out of Time”), “Dance Moms” (“Curtain Time”) and the new Jennifer Love Hewitt drama “The Client List” (“A Good Time”).

Nancy Dubuc, who added Lifetime Networks to her portfolio in May 2010 after the suite of channels became part of A&E Television Networks, said the rebrand was a year in the making.

“You only have one shot to do this,” she said. “It’s not like you can go out and put a stake in the ground and claim a brand position and redo your on-air look every two years.”

The rebrand is the next step in Lifetime’s bid to shed its image as the home of maudlin made-for-TV movies, a plan that includes new projects from Queen Latifah and Bristol Palin, as well as big names working behind the camera, including Demi Moore, Courteney Cox and Renee Zellweger.

Jaleel White ousted from ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Jaleel White can cross dance rehearsals off his to-do list: The 35-year-old actor is done with “Dancing With the Stars.”

Mr. White was eliminated from the hit ABC dance-off Tuesday after losing the show’s “final dance duel” to fellow competitor Roshon Fegan.

The two actors were at the bottom of the leaderboard coming into the episode after judges’ scores and viewer votes were tallied. Mr. White and Mr. Fegan faced off with a simultaneous rumba, and the judges deemed Mr. Fegan the winner.

Mr. Fegan will return to compete next week, along with actors William Levy and Melissa Gilbert, singer Katherine Jenkins, TV personality Maria Menounos, and football star Donald Driver.

NBC to stream every Olympic event live online

Usain Bolt could be defending his Olympic 200-meter title on a Thursday afternoon, and fans will be able to watch the race live online during this summer’s London games. What they’ll see, however, is very different from the tape-delayed, prime-time package that will still air a few hours later.

NBC executives decided to shift from their longtime philosophy and make every event available as it happens, convinced the plan will build interest in the Olympics and not siphon off viewership from the traditional nightly broadcasts. That means the Internet streams will be fairly minimalistic, a move aimed at tempting fans to rewatch the competition in a more stylized presentation on the network that evening.

“You’ll be able to live the moment,” said Rick Cordella, the vice president and general manager for NBC Sports Digital.

According to the Associated Press, the online coverage will use the world feed instead of NBC camera angles. That’s what viewers in many smaller countries see on their local networks, so the production is high quality, if less specialized than Americans are used to for the Olympics. There will be basic graphics and, for some popular sports, announcers from the Olympic Broadcasting Services.

NBCOlympics.com streamed many smaller sports live during the 2008 Beijing Olympics for a total of 2,200 hours, but the big-ticket events were held back. This year, more than 3,500 hours will be shown on the website. For the top sports, replays will not be available online until after the event airs in prime time.

The service will include extra feeds for certain sports — fans can watch each apparatus in its entirety during gymnastics and up to five courts for tennis.

Most of the Internet streams will be available only to viewers who subscribe to cable or satellite services. They will need to “authenticate,” log in to prove they are customers.

Social media has proliferated since Beijing, and NBC is counting on buzz from viewers who watch events live to attract others to the prime-time broadcasts.

Calif. teen charged in theft of Food Network star’s car

A California teenager has been charged with the brazen theft of a Food Network star’s Lamborghini convertible from a car dealership, but his problems do not end there.

Marin County prosecutors on Tuesday also charged 17-year-old Max Michael Wade as an adult with two counts of attempted murder, the Marin Independent Journal reported. Those charges stem from a shooting last month in which someone on a motorcycle fired into a truck occupied by two teenagers.

While investigating Mr. Wade as a suspect, detectives followed him to a storage container in Richmond, Calif., where they found the yellow Lamborghini belonging to celebrity chef Guy Fieri. The car was stolen in San Francisco last year by a burglar who rappelled into a dealership showroom from the roof.

The storage unit also contained a dismantled AK-47 assault rifle, another assault rifle and a San Francisco police uniform and badge.

Compiled from Web and wire reports

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