Mobisode

Mobisode

Mobisode is a term first coined by Daniel Tibbets then trademarked by his employer, Fox Broadcasting Company, for a broadcast television episode specially made for viewing on a mobile telephone screen and usually of short duration (from one to three minutes). The word is a neologism, coined by Tibbets as a portmanteau of the two words "mobile" and "episode".

The arrival of third-generation (3G) cellular services has made the broadcasting and viewing of video footage a feasible commercial proposition.

According to first-hand accounts from Fox employees who were there at the time, the first mobisode was announced in January 2004 and was 24: Conspiracy, a spin-off of the action-suspense drama 24, although it was not actually the first mobisode to be produced. The first mobisode produced was "Love and Hate", its pilot was produced in January 2004 and later that year completed production. The first two mobisodes sold and commissioned by Verizon were "Love and Hate" and "Sunset Hotel", with 24: Conspiracy being the third. All three inaugural mobisdoes launched at the same time on Verizon in February 2005. Fox followed these with the release of mobisodes of Prison Break: Proof of Innocence, a spin-off of Prison Break in April 2006.

The world's first made for mobile horror series was When Evil Calls. Composed of twenty two-minute mobisodes the series marks the first time 'named' actors had been attached to such a venture. The series included Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers), Dominique Pinon (Amelie), Jennifer Lim (Hostel) and Chris Barrie (Red Dwarf) as well as Pierce Brosnan's son Sean and Ray Winstone's daughter Lois. It was directed by horror specialist Johannes Roberts (Forest of the Damned / Demonic) and produced by Zone horror and Pure Grass films.

Although the term "mobisode" is trademarked by Fox, it is also used in media to refer to mobile telephone television episodes not affiliated with Fox, such as the Lost: Missing Pieces (spun off from Lost).

It has been announced that the TV series Red Dwarf will feature a preview of forthcoming mobisodes on The Bodysnatcher Collection DVD box set, though is not fully clear what form these shows will take.

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