Editor's Note: Oops! A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the debut did not announce a winner for the gadget segment. A winner was actually declared. This article has been updated.
Even though General Electric's
Hoping to complete the convergence of daytime television with the iVillage site that bills itself as "The Internet for Women," a new show began airing today that blends online elements within the typical talk show format, featuring cooking segments, consumer news, and audience participation.
iVillage Live will air in daily one-hour chunks on iVillage.com, Bravo, and some NBC stations. True to its moniker, today's debut was shot live at the Universal Orlando resort in Florida. There were few mishaps. The chocolate lava cake went off without a hitch. A pair of kids pushing their fathers on strollers through the Toon Lagoon area of the Islands of Adventure theme park was classic (so was the prize for the winning family -- lifetime passes to the park).
Yes, the breaks that helped fill the televised segments with ads seemed to last an eternity online. Thankfully, the crowd streaming through the Internet got in on the fun in a moderated chat room where choice comments crept into a continuous ticker that ran through the show.
General Electric is finally starting to milk the amusement park that it acquired when it teamed up with Vivendi to form NBC Universal. GE has an 80% stake in the union, and the park has been sorely neglected in recent years. Attendance fell dramatically last year, which is a shame because the park is the most technologically advanced in the country, yet it hasn't had a new marketable attraction open in seven years.
One has to wonder why it took NBC so long to take advantage of the sprawling Universal Orlando resort -- complete with three hotels, two amusement parks, and a nightlife entertainment district. Disney's
It's good to see the resort shine as a star again. The adjacent Universal Studios Florida park hosted several popular shows for Viacom's
I was surprisingly impressed by iVillage Live, but will it become a weekday staple? I have my doubts; maintaining such slick production can't come cheap, and the limited television audience and Internet crowd may be slow in coming around. For now, the show is airing live at noon on the East Coast and streamed again three hours later for the West Coast crowd.
Good luck, GE. Keep looking under those seats. I'm sure there's a winner out there somewhere.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves women so much that he married one. He does own shares in Disney. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.