Fox Previews “The Simpsons” Online

Fox is offering fans an online preview of the season premiere of The Simpsons, promoting its popular TV show on several of its interactive properties.

The video, which features :15 pre- and post-roll ads from sponsor Burger King, was made available Friday on Fox.com, MySpace, and IGN TV. Tie-ins with FoxSports.com, AskMen.com, and other sites in the Fox Interactive Media network will run throughout the weekend leading up to the broadcast premiere of the show Sunday night.

FoxSports.com will showcase Homer Simpson’s week one NFL picks. AskMen.com will honor Homer as the site’s “Man of the Week,” renaming the site for the day as “AskHomer” in his honor. Home page takeovers will run on Fox’s Rotten Tomatoes movie site, and Scout.com college sports site.

“The goal of such ‘pre-broadcast’ synergies is to enhance the viewer experience and drive audience to the telecast. When we stream online ‘post-broadcast’, it is to allow viewers another opportunity to catch up to episodes they may have missed. At the network, our primary focus is still the broadcast, but Fox’s dynamic Web presence allows us and our viewers tremendous flexibility,” Scott Grogin, senior VP of corporate communications for Fox Broadcasting, told ClickZ.

In August, Fox Interactive Group, Fox Stations Group and Fox Digital Media began a trial program to stream replays of some shows the day after their TV broadcast on nine of its affiliate MyFoxLocal sites. That initiative is sponsored by Toyota. Fox’s IGN also began streaming “Prison Break” and “Vanished” free and commercial free in August.

Fox has done several cross-platform promotions in the past, especially with its MySpace and IGN properties. A Toyota Yaris-sponsored “Prison Break” profile on MySpace looks back at last season and ahead at the new season, with exclusive video interviews with the stars and producers. IGN’s television editors visited the sets of several of this fall’s shows, and will continue to produce feature stories from those visits.

Most of the sites involved in the latest promotion target the 18-34 year old demographic, as The Simpsons does. The animated series, which has been one of Fox’s flagship properties for the past 17 years, is renowned for its frequent celebrity guest voices. The preview of Sunday’s show reveals rock group Metallica, appearing as themselves, as well as frequent guest voice Joe Mantegna, reprising his role as mobster “Fat Tony” D’Amico. The Sopranos’ Michael Imperioli and Joe Pantoliano are also set to appear.

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