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WB Launches Flashy, Beta Version of Hulu Competitor

If there is anything I need in my life, it is most certainly not a free venue for watching more television shows that I’ve avoided getting hooked on over the past few years. Of course, my addiction to Hulu has not helped — everything from “Burn Notice” to “Life” to catching back up on “Chuck” have kept me up on many a sleepless night. It is, to say the least, disgusting and wrong.

And now, just as I thought I was running out of shows to watch in time for a little break before the start of the Fall TV season, Warner Brothers goes and launches TheWB.com, a Hulu-like site that features full episodes from their catalog, including “Friends,” “Veronica Mars,” “Smallville” and the very interesting “Sorority Forever.” It also includes Joss Whedon’s “Firefly,” which is sure to draw me in at some point.

Along with the shows, TheWB.com will also include a bunch of features not seen on the likes of Hulu, including the ability to search character names. And as TechCrunch points out, “The site also allows users to modify selected portions from a number of shows using an embedded version of Adobe Premiere Express.” This could be a lot of fun for a lot of fans. As well, it also has integration features with Facebook, which for now allows you to invite your Facebook friends over to TheWB. Nothing like a little word-of-mouth via one of the world’s largest websites.

Ultimately, while the look and feel of this new site is very flashy and visually jam-packed with content, it is still a step and a half behind its competitor Hulu in that Hulu features multi-network programming and as of recently, has begun adding movies to its programming mix. Should TheWB follow that path, we could be in for a treat. Either way, it is nice to see more studios jumping on the free TV online bandwagon.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet.

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