[01/15/07 - 02:31 PM]
MTV Unveils 'Virtual Hills' as Season Two of 'The Hills' Premieres
Promotional tool comes on the heels of "Virtual Laguna Beach."

[via press release from MTV]

MTV Unveils 'Virtual Hills' as Season Two of 'The Hills' Premieres

Lauren Conrad and Other Cast Members to Actively Engage In and Program In-World Activities During Entire Season

Season Two of Hit Reality Drama Airs on MTV Monday Nights at 10 P.M. ET/PT

NEW YORK, Jan. 15 -- Viewers already live it up on the sun-kissed beaches of Virtual Laguna Beach and now can run for "The Hills" of Los Angeles with the debut of MTV's Virtual Hills virtual world. Virtual Hills, an extension of the popular television show "The Hills," which debuts tonight, immerses fans of the show in all the glitz, glamour and fashion of the LA scene. Virtual Hills replicates large portions of Hollywood and the popular venues where the cast members -- Lauren "LC" Conrad, Heidi, Audrina and Whitney -- hang out. Viewers can recreate their own drama in-world, meet other Hills fans and hang out with the cast, who will be actively engaged in curating the online experience.

All the fun in Virtual Hills kicks off at 7 p.m. ET tonight with a virtual premiere party and in-world appearances from the cast. Fans will be able to party with Lauren, Whitney, Heidi and Audrina and catch exclusive footage from the real season-two premiere party held at Club Area, an LA nightspot prominently featured in the show and built out in Virtual Hills. The second season of The Hills airs premieres a few hours later, at 10 p.m. tonight on MTV.

The Hills' cast members will have a hand in creating in-world story arcs to guide fans' virtual experiences. In the coming weeks, Lauren, with the assistance of Whitney, will launch a fashion challenge, host fashion shows and offer designing and modeling tips; Audrina, who lives for music, will host concert events and other music series throughout the season; and Heidi will throw exclusive, invite-only parties for the ultra-cool and ultra-hip in- world.

"If you're a fan of The Hills, the cast and the LA scene, you'll be an instant fan of Virtual Hills, where you can live the life you see on-air and interact with the cast you love," said Jeff Yapp, executive vice president of business enterprises for MTV Networks' Music Group. "Lauren, Whitney, Audrina and Heidi are opening their world to fans everywhere, going well beyond in- world appearances to curating experiences revolving around fashion, music and more. Virtual Hills will give fans unprecedented levels of integration with cast members, resulting in deeper, richer experiences for viewers and connecting them more intimately to the show."

"There is so much similarity between where I live my real life and what I've experienced in Virtual Hills," said Lauren "LC" Conrad, star of MTV's "The Hills." "I'm excited to interact with fans from all over the country and help program some of the in-world experiences to give viewers a virtual taste of my life."

As fans walk down the virtual streets of Los Angeles, MTV Networks' URGE digital music service fills the world with music from the show, in addition to cast favorites and other popular songs. "The Hills" radio station also is accessible through URGE directly.

Virtual Hills is available for free download at http://www.virtualhills.mtv.com.

Members of Virtual Laguna Beach can teleport themselves directly to Virtual Hills. Launched in September 2006, Virtual Laguna Beach is based on "Laguna Beach," the popular reality program set in the seaside town in Orange County, Calif. Other virtual worlds are planned later this year for the broader music community and for viewers of LOGO, making it one of the first such applications for the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community.

Virtual Hills and Virtual Laguna Beach are both hosted on There.com, Makena Technologies' successful 3D social virtual world.

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 100 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 95 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

http://www.mtv.com http://www.virtualhills.mtv.com http://www.There.com

  [january 2007]  


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