CBS’ ‘Harper’s Island’ Offers Online Companion

Murder drama “Harper’s Island” premieres Thursday on CBS, but fans have already been introduced to the show by “Harper’s Globe” – an online companion to the series that has already aired four short episodes.

In the realistic style of a home-recorded YouTube video (the site where the videos themselves are hosted), the online series follows Robin Matthews, a journalist for Harper’s Globe – the local newspaper of Harper’s Island. Fans can interact with the show via a social networking component by posting comments and discussing their theories on who the “Harper’s” murderer is. New episodes will arrive every Wednesday at 2 PM PST.

While previous shows have attempted to transition from computer monitors to the small screen, such as “Quarterlife,” “Harper’s Globe” is the first time a new show has launched a separate Web series as an advance promotional product. The first episode has already logged over 200,000 views.

Melanie Merkosky, who stars as Robin, explained to AccessHollywood.com at the Streamy Awards on Saturday how her character is connected to the “Harper’s” universe.

“She’s got a bit of a mysterious past and she’s looking for a fresh start and gets completely caught up in the story of ‘Harper’s Island’ and all of those murders that happened many years ago,” she said. “Things start to get really scary.”

It’s not Melanie’s first online show – she previously starred on the popular “lonelygirl15” series.

“The lonelygirl family and fan base is so incredibly tight and loyal,” she said. “They’re loving the new show and they can’t wait to see what happens.”

And, she added, she thinks “Globe” is an indicator of things to come as shows continue to embrace the Internet.

“I think it’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s a really exciting time for new media in general. More people are starting to realize that it is a trend and it is where the future is headed.”

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