Tom Hanks will produce a 90-minute series broadcast on Yahoo in 20 episodes. It will be the first originally scripted program for Yahoo. The animated series is called Electric City and will be viewable online on computers, smartphones and tablets as well as on the Yahoo Connected TV on Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Vizio TVs.
“Tom actually created this. He wrote and he stars in the lead voice,” says Erin McPherson, Yahoo vice president and head of video. “It is animated and it has a science fiction bent and in that way, like all great science fiction, it definitely plays on what is the best type of society to live in and themes around energy usage, conservation and sustainability.”
McPherson noted, “We wanted to start off 2012 with a very strong statement about our commitment to premium content and bringing the world’s best storytellers to life and utilizing our platform and our technology to do that.”
Yahoo will also have a virtual Electric City 3-D map that users can explore along with other social network and Yahoo tools. “We are going to bring all of our communication tools to bear in really creating a truly 360-degree experience for consumers and advertisers, since this will be ad-supported,” McPherson says.
Yahoo noted the story unfolds gradually, layering mystery upon mystery, inviting viewers to interact with the content and each other. Metaphors and symbols are woven throughout, creating a perfect environment for puzzle-solving and community interaction. Like good science fiction, Electric City raises provocative questions about our own way of life and value systems. Short-form connecting storylines combined with vivid animation and a compelling score will keep audiences watching, while metaphors and a range of subject lines will keep them guessing — and reflecting.”