You'll be hearing a lot about something called Battleground during the next week or two. Don't dismiss it as the latest big-budget bomb-drop at your local multiplex. Instead, pay close attention to it, because this awesome little production is actually a very solid entertainment property that might occupy a permanent place in media history as the first television series that did not debut on a television network.
Of course, that distinction may depend on your definition of the words "television" and "network," taken separately or together. From where I sit, the Internet and television as I know it have not yet merged into one, even if media companies are anxious for us to believe otherwise. But the day is coming when we'll be living with the results of one giant media mash-up, whether we like it or not. At that time, Battleground will be just another show in that media mash.
For now, however, it's something kind of special, because it is the first scripted entertainment series produced by and for Hulu. It will debut February 14 at 3 a.m. ET at hulu.com/battleground, with a new episode posted every Tuesday morning during the following 12 weeks.
Battleground certainly isn't the first ongoing scripted series produced exclusively for an Internet outlet, but I would argue that in many ways it is the most impressive to date. It is so well conceived and constructed that it could readily run on a basic cable network; in fact, at approximately 22 minutes in length it would fit into a regular half-hour slot with ample room for commercials. If it succeeds, you can expect to see it syndicated here and in international markets at some point.
This column continues over at MediaPost.