Leave it to Boston, Massachusetts-based WGBH to come up with an innovative way to spread the word about everyday environmentalism. Executive producer of WGBH Interactive Bill Shribman has joined forces with Peep and the Big Wide World producer Marisa Wolsky to birth The Greens, a webisode project that looks to inject a shot of altruistic activism into a sitcom for eight- to 12-year-olds.
The site is up and running at www.meetthegreens.org and currently offers up background info on cousins Izz and Dex, their families and their desire to have less impact on the environment. Coming soon is a monthly-updated series of two- to three-minute Flash animated webisodes modelled on a traditional sitcom format, but accompanied by all the calling cards of Web 2.0 interactivity, including blogs, message boards and forums.
‘It’s an incubator to see if this will be a viable TV project,’ says Shribman. ‘Right now it’s a stand-alone web piece, but we do have relationships with Boys and Girls Clubs and after-school programs, museums and aquariums that will help us get the word out.’
With a limited production and promotion budget, WGBH has managed to tap into the green blogosphere to promote the website and has garnered thousands of hits already – even before the web series’ rollout. The channel has committed to the project for one year, with plans for two more in the works.