Alloy Online and Roswell

By • Oct 3rd, 2000 • Category: Roswell

Thanks to Janet for sending this in :) She says..”This article discusses Roswell some while mainly focusing on a new deal between Kevin Brown and Alloy.”

ALLOY ONLINE RICHES THE MIX.(Brief Article)
Vicki M. Young

09/22/2000
WWD
Page 24
Copyright 2000 Information Access Company. All rights reserved.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Fairchild Publications, Inc.

NEW YORK — In a world where fashion and entertainment converge, Alloy
Online is turning into a multimedia standout among its peers.

The teen catalog and e-commerce player will be providing Alloy branded
apparel for “Gilmore Girls,” a fall TV season newcomer on the WB
network about a single mom raising her 16-year-old daughter. The show
will air on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m.

In addition, the Fox network has “committed” to a script based on “Spy
Girls,” a book about three 16-year-old international spies involved in
a humorous thriller. The title is owned by 17th Street Productions, a
developer and producer of media properties for teens that was acquired
by Alloy last year. “Spy Girls” was optioned by Kevin Brown, a film
and TV producer. Spy Girls was published by Pocket books, a division
of Simon & Schuster.

Brown and Alloy have worked together previously on Roswell , a series
on the WB network about teenage aliens in high school.

Roswell is based on the book Roswell High, which was developed by
Alloy under contract. Alloy’s connection to Roswell these days is
limited to the collection of royalty checks, an arrangement that is
likely to change based on future development deals.

Matt Diamond, chief executive officer of Alloy, told WWD in an
exclusive interview, “Because we own the title `Spy Girls,’ if there
is a series, Alloy will have the rights to promote the show at our Web
site, in our catalogs and through other promotional vehicles and
sponsorships.”

Leslie Morgenstein, president of 17th Street Productions and Alloy
Entertainment, explained that Fox has committed to just a script for
now. “A pilot is in development and if Fox picks it up, it could be on
the schedule for the fall 2001 TV season,” he said.

According to Brown, the pilot is in development with Granada
Television.

To be sure, these deals aren’t Alloy’s first brush with Hollywood.

“We did `Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ for a year and `Beverly Hills:
90210′ way back when. What usually happens is that someone on the show
is a big fan of Alloy and suggests that our Alloy branded apparel is
worn on the show,” Diamond said.

Alloy-branded items are not for sale, and are produced solely for
promotional purposes.

The teen destination Web site — which provides community, content and
commerce to Generation Y between ages 10 and 24 — also does
sponsorship deals in which it promotes movies in various ways both
online and off-line.

Past promotions, whether movie pass giveaways or flyaways that involve
flying a contest winner to the set, include “Bring It On” and
“American Pie.”

The entertainment operations are part of Alloy Entertainment, whose
roots go back to Celebrity Sightings. “We bought Celebrity Sightings
to solidify our position in the sector,” Diamond explained.

The 17th Street division was folded into Celebrity Sightings, which
operates the Los Angeles office that coordinates the entertainment
opportunities for the teen Web site. Alloy has also formed AlloyBooks,
in partnership with Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, to publish
teen books.

According to Diamond, there are other Hollywood-related transactions
in the works.

“With the acquisition of 17th Street, we have access to 3,000 titles,
books or intellectual property rights. Some can be made into movies or
television shows,” the chief executive said.

One property being developed is “Fingerprints,” a mystery about a
teenage girl who discovers that she has extrasensory perception and,
if she touches a fingerprint, can “hear” the thoughts of the
individual at the time the imprint was made. Another is about a teen
casanova in “The Black Book: Diaries of a Teenage Stud,” which was
optioned two weeks ago by Storyline Entertainment and the Greenblatt
Janollari Studio, according to Morgenstein. He said that both
properties have inked publishing deals with Harper Collins.

Diamond disclosed that “Have a Nice Life” — which he describes as
“It’s a Wonderful Life” meets “American Pie” — hasn’t been optioned
yet, but has received interest from major studios. The book is set for
publication in January through the AlloyBooks imprint line.

The networks in discussions with Alloy include Fox and WB , among
major studios.

So, why the interest in Alloy?

According to Diamond, “In the last couple of years, we’ve built up our
presence where we are now big enough in our reach in terms of catalog
circulation and online reach. We’re a very effective way for the
entertainment community to reach the group that we target.”

Competing Web sites include Mtv.com, a lifestyle brand focusing mostly
on music, as well as iTurf.com and snowball.com — both are networks
of teen Web sites with some apparel e-commerce but not the
entertainment infrastructure that Alloy has put together.

With entertainment playing a bigger role in Alloy’s operations,
Diamond said that the revenue stream is likely to grow from 20 percent
to no more than 40 percent of the company’s total revenues. The
balance of revenues will still come from the company’s catalog and
e-commerce operations.

“We’ve always found that fashion and entertainment are strong
influences on teens,” Diamond said. If he has his way, the Alloy
influence could get stronger over time.

According to Morgenstein, Alloy isn’t limited to just promotions of
its properties on the Internet. If any of the titles become the basis
for TV shows, Alloy also could produce so-called tie-ins such as a
book series based on characters from the show, with pictures of the
show’s stars on the cover.

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