- - Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hey, YouTubers! Have you danced your fill to “Gangnam Style”? Have you seen enough versions of “Call Me Maybe”?

Now video grazers can check out a brand-new YouTube channel that promises to be as amusing as any cat on a skateboard but also to engage viewers with ideas for changing the world.

TakePart TV, which launched Tuesday, is a digital home for what the network has termed “clever, eye-opening and optimistic content around big issues that face our planet.” The target audience is millennials ranging from teenage to 30.

One of YouTube’s new 100-channel portfolio, TakePart TV will deliver original programming that consists of news, short-form comedy, animation and nonfiction series featuring names such as Henry Rollins, Dan Savage and Kobe Bryant.

“The mission of this channel is to create awesome stuff for people who give a [darn],” said Evan Shapiro, president of Participant Television. “But what we want to do is not just give them stuff that entertains them but stuff they want to spread around: The great thing about the Internet is you’re just a click away from sharing your favorite content with a million people.”

Former “The Price is Right” host Bob Barker will be presented the ... more >

The network’s flagship show is “Brain Food Daily,” which will have five correspondents focus on sex, power, media, mind and the planet. Topics this week include “The Price of Vice: Making Money by Legalizing Sex, Drugs and Gambling” and “Five Worst Hells: Countdown of the World’s Worst Afterlives.”

In discussing the potential for TakePart TV, Mr. Shapiro pointed to the thousands of “Call Me Maybe” covers and parodies that sprang up in response to the original by Carly Rae Jepsen. He cited the hundreds of millions of viewings of South Korean rapper Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”

What would happen if such interest and viral response were spurred by issues TakePart TV’s audience embraces as socially significant?

“This generation cares, and they’re looking to be part of something larger than themselves,” Mr. Shapiro said. “We’re giving them that — something actionable on a daily basis — as well as something to enjoy.

Man confesses murder to Dr. Phil before going to police

A man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in Houston and then driving hundreds of miles to dump her body in a West Texas oil field taped an interview about the case with the “Dr. Phil” show two days before confessing to investigators, police said Monday.

Mark Augustin Castellano, a 37-year-old computer technician, has been charged with murder in the Sept. 22 death of 31-year-old Michelle Warner.

Houston Detective Fil Waters said Mr. Castellano initially told investigators that Ms. Warner had run out on him and their 3-year-old son. Her family later reported her missing to police.

Mr. Castellano, who was staying with his son at his parents’ home in Odessa in West Texas, had kept in contact with police and agreed to return to Houston on Sunday to speak with investigators. During a two-hour interview, Mr. Castellano told investigators he killed Ms. Warner after an argument in their apartment in which he grabbed her by the throat and apparently snapped her neck, Detective Waters said.

Detective Waters said Mr. Castellano also indicated he had taped an interview for the “Dr. Phil” show on Friday.

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