Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Desperate Housewives Appear Online

Viewers desperate for the latest gossip from Wisteria Lane can now catch up for free on the Internet.

In a push to expand its online presence while capitalizing on the popularity of several hit shows, ABC is offering Desperate Housewives reruns the day after the show airs. It is also offering free episodes of Commander in Chief, Alias and Lost, in a two-month trial that begins May 1.

Desperate Housewives, credited for boosting ABC's previously sluggish ratings with an average of over 20 million viewers, already markets mobile ringtones, desktop wallpaper, online quizzes and viewer polls.

The strategy is in line with a couple of consumer electronics trends. First, it is evidence of the increasing versatility of electronic devices and their ability to access various types of digital content. Jon Winsell, director of online media strategy at the interactive marketing agency ID Society, told a New York Daily News reporter that the free episodes show the growth of time-shifting mentality, seeded by TiVo and DVRs.

Disney is also making free shows available on the Web.