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Carnex - the peacemaker

Lon - the aspiring actor

Jordan - the French/Canadian model

Michelle - the sex bomb

Jeff - the beefcake

... and not forgetting Spotnik the dog.


One morning in 1995 a young man from New York had an idea. Like all good ideas it came to him in a dream. He dreamt that there was a house and in this house lived a group of characters. The strange thing was this young man had met all these characters before; in fact he was himself all these characters.

Scott Zakarin had been a filmmaker in New York. In an effort to break into directing TV commercials he had moved to Los Angeles and gone to work for Fattal & Collins, a Marina Del Ray advertising agency. As a way of passing time Scott was an inhabitant of the relatively new World Wide Web. He surfed many and varied chat rooms and because it amused him he took on different names and identities for each of the different chat rooms that he visited. It was those identities that became Scott's characters.

Turning to three friends that he worked with Scott explained his dream. Troy Bolotuck, Rick Tuckenberg and Laurie Plaskin helped Scott expand his ideas and the team went to Fattal & Collins seeking investment. After being given the go ahead by the two advertising executives, 'The Spot' was launched in June 1995.

'The Spot' was the first ever 'webisodic', a world wide web based episodic fiction. Described as a cross between 'Beverly Hills 90210', MTV's 'Real World' and 'Friends' it was a web based soap opera that launched a whole new genre. The show laid claim to being the first truly successful entertainment site on the web and it drew millions of people to participate.

The story revolved around a Santa Monica beach house that was occupied by a group of young beautiful people. At any one time there were six or seven occupants.

Spotnik was often described as the most rounded character in the show.Tim played Jeff Benton the landlord and head honcho. In the house it was Jeff's way or the highway.

Access to the show was through the characters journals. Readers were able to go behind the scenes and read what each character had written in his or her diary. The house members were either the show's writers or models hired for the roles or Tim!

It was watched on Quicktime video and utilised both audio files and photographs. The very interaction that this format allowed was responsible for the show's huge success. Discussion on fan boards, and there were plenty of those, could result in the story lines being changed overnight. Some fans even ended up writing for the show. During the time that it was online, June 1995 until July 1997, the show attracted approximately 150,000 people per day. An amazing track record.

'The Spot' finished in July 1997 amongst much acrimony between its creators and backers and disappointment among the fans. It had been a revolutionary concept for a mass media product. So what happened?

Sheri Herman, a former cable TV programming executive was bought in by Fattal & Collins to enlarge the operation. Scott and Herman did not get on; they clashed over much and in the end Scott and his team left. That was in 1996. Forming the company American Cybercast, Herman developed a larger company with more webisodic productions. The number of staff went from fifteen to sixty and webisodics branched into sci fi amongst other things.

It was too much too quickly and despite making six million dollars in one year American Cybercast filed for bankruptcy. Webisodics could not generate enough income to support themselves even though production costs were minimal compared to their television counterparts. A victim of their own success, webisodics seem now to be out of favour.


Special Forces/Films/Theatre/Soldier of Fortune/Television/Internet/Biography/Links/Contact/Dish of the Day