Lifeforce Entertainment to launch Toronto’s own online ‘TV’ network

Launching next Tuesday, the net is seeking sponsorship and branded content for two new original shows.

A new Canadian production company that believes the future of television is on the Internet is launching an online TV network that will combine four original web series on one site,

On Jan. 20, Toronto-based Lifeforce Entertainment is also simultaneously launching two new shows: Table Topics, a talk show for women covering current events and celebrity gossip; and Angels – Local 437, a scripted comedy starring Ennis Esmer, who is in the new CTV series The Listener.

‘We’re the only ones in Canada doing a network like this…basically self-sustained channels on the Internet producing original content,’ says Chantal LeBlanc-Everett, head of production and development at Lifeforce.

Table Topics, with a target female demo of 18-25, is looking for sponsors and brands that could be integrated into the show. For instance, an interior design firm to design the set for credit, clothing for the three female hosts, websites they could scroll through or branded props.

‘Coffee, food and beverage sponsors are always great, because they’re basically three good-looking, intelligent women sitting around a table,’ says LeBlanc-Everett. The show will air twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Branded entertainment is a new venture for the company, but LeBlanc-Everett says they’re open to developing shows comparable to Dove’s Waking Up Hannah, an online series in which viewers can choose a storyline for the 20-something character.

Two of Lifeforce’s other shows – The Men’s Room and Byte Club, which will be moved from their current host sites – also lend themselves to unique branding opportunities, explains LeBlanc-Everett. For instance, Byte Club could be relaunched as a scripted, national tech show (currently it’s Toronto-focused) that would integrate stories and products from popular tech blogs.

‘We could integrate products into the sketches, which becomes hidden branded entertainment. Within the tech community everybody knows about these stories that are kind of funny to them. That’s who it would be targeted to, 18-25 males,’ says LeBlanc-Everett.

After it makes the move to Lifeforce network, The Men’s Room, a talk show covering topics in sex and dating, will be up for sponsorships for season two.

All the shows will be linkable to other video streaming or social networking sites. Previously, the series were promoted virally via email or self-help blogs, but LeBlanc-Everett says the new push will focus on traditional media.