Fuller dreams a dream, Ford and Pepsi make it a reality (show)

LONDON - Simon Fuller, the creator of 'American Idol', has unveiled a global web reality show called 'If I Can Dream', initially bypassing TV in favour of Hulu, with Ford and Pepsi on board as advertisers.

The show, produced by Fuller's 19 Entertainment, will document the lives of five young people trying to make it in Hollywood.

'If I Can Dream' represents significant milestones for Hulu.com. It marks the first time it has distributed a full length original programme and the first time a recurring programme will have been available globally.

It will be broadcast 24-hours a day on ificandream.com with a recap show available for viewers around the world at the end of each week on the News Corporation, NBC Universal and Walt Disney-owned Hulu.com.

In addition to being shown globally on the web, 'If I can Dream' will be broadcast in the US on radio in a deal with Clear Channel and will also air on News Corp's MySpace.

The group of five comprises a musician, an actor, two actresses and a model and will follow them as they leave their hometowns and head for Los Angeles and a shared house in the Hollywood Hills.

While it echoes previous reality shows, such as MTV's 'The Real World', because it is played out on the web it will allow the audience to directly interact with the wannabe stars. Viewers will be able to connect with the contestants through text, blogs, MySpace, Twitter and Facebook as the action unfolds in real-time.

The collective online thoughts and ideas of the audience will be recorded through blogs and video messages on ificandream.com allowing the five to test ideas, rehearse and audition in front of their audience.

As well as the original five housemates viewers will be introduced to a rolling cast of other new hopefuls, visitors and other participants.

Fuller said that in creating the show he wanted to push boundaries of mainstream entertainment: "The next frontier is the video world of authentic real-time interaction. 'If I Can Dream' experiments with technology to provide for the first time a complete open door opportunity that allows the viewer to experience reality in a way never before attempted.

"It is time the public got to see the truth behind what it takes to launch the careers of young artists who have a dream that one day on pure merit they can be professional entertainers and gain the recognition they crave. This is the dawning of a new age."

Pepsi's partnership with 'If I can Dream' is part of its Pepsi Refresh Project, launching in 2010. Pepsi will invest $20m in community projects created in association with the soft drink giant.

Ford will use its involvement to create a fresh marketing initiative to pre-promote the launch of the 2011 North American Ford Fiesta. The car firm said it would use the reality show to build on the social media campaign, the Fiesta Movement programme, which generated over 675,000 Flickr views and 5.5 million YouTube views in 2009.

Connie Fontaine, manager, brand content and alliances at Ford, said: "The Ford Fiesta already has the attention of socially vibrant consumers months before it goes on sale in North America next summer.

"The role that 19 Entertainment and Ford have created for Fiesta is really exciting and will provide viewers a different look at the cast members through amazing technology and the Fiesta."