Sunday, September 11, 2011

Caption Action 2: September 2011 Newsletter

This is the Caption Action 2 newsletter for September 2011.

We skipped the August newsletter. Caption Action 2 took a bit of a summer break.

Coming Up:

Alloy Entertainment, producer of branded web series, is now on board with closed captioning! After being nudged by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, Alloy promised to closed caption its upcoming Wendy web series. Wendy is about one of the characters from the children's classic Peter Pan. It is launching on September 15. Check out the Facebook page,

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Friday, July 8, 2011

All My Children and One Life to Live Move to Internet

The soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live have been cancelled on regular television, but fan demand has resulted in the licensing of the shows to the company Prospect Park.

Prospect Park will be continuing the shows online, but it is not definite that the same actors will participate. The question is, now that AMC and OLTL are becoming web series, will they be closed captioned online?

You can make sure they are online by contacting Prospect Park on Twitter at @prospectpk

The Internet has increasingly been taking over the soap opera genre. There are several web-exclusive soap operas. Caption Action 2 doesn't know of any closed captioned internet soap operas at this time.

Here is what Marlee Matlin tweeted: All My Children fans have tweeted asking me to use my clout to help insure it's captioned when it moves to web. Happy to make noise for you!

But the time is very short! E! reports that AMC ends its regular TV run in September! The deaf community has less than 2 months to convince Prospect Park to closed caption online.

According to the Internet Movie Database, One Life To Live started in 1968, All My Children in 1970.


‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ Head Online
Canceled soaps will continue online
Soap Shocker: All My Children and One Life to Live Saved?!

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Caption Action 2 Takes On Facebook!

A new fight has been launched to get Facebook to update its video player to add closed captioning support. Why now? The answer is, because Facebook is clearly positioning itself to become a major player in the original web video content arena.

This past week alone, two high-profile web series have been announced for Facebook: Aim High, and Teen Wolf.

Aim High is a professionally-produced web series about a spy in a high school. One of the producers is Dolphin Entertainment, and according to their website, they have a solid track record producing content for Nickelodeon, Family Channel, Cartoon Network, etc. Their site says they specialize in children and young adults' programming. Aim High, which features an actor from the Twilight films, Jackson Rathbone, has been getting a lot of publicity, as it is distributed by Warner Brothers on Facebook starting August 1:

Entertainment Weekly,, Just Jared Jr., BSCKids, Sugarscape are media sources that have already published preview articles. More will come the closer we get to August 1.

Teen Wolf is actually ALREADY on Facebook. Teen Wolf is a companion web series to the new MTV show Teen Wolf. You have to go to the AT&T Facebook page, and "like" it to be able to see the video. Link too long to post here, but you can get to it via the link in the Hollywood Reporter article, MTV's 'Teen Wolf' Web Series Premieres Today.

Since the target is Facebook, it makes sense to have Facebook pages about this! Last night Caption Action 2 posted on Twitter asking for someone to create a Facebook page calling for Facebook to add closed captioning. Two people responded, and now we have both a Facebook group, and a Facebook page, so people can choose whichever they prefer.

Facebook group: Facebook must add closed captions!! ( people must request to join the group)

Facebook page: FB must support closed captioning
(uses FB in title because of apparent Facebook restrictions in the use of the word Facebook in a page title. Anyone can join by simply "liking" the page.)

Both the group and page creators are active supporters of closed captioning. Caption Action 2 would like to see the group and/or page grow to 30,000 members. Why 30,000? We figure we need at least that many to get the attention of Facebook - and the attention of reporters and bloggers in the media.

Caption Action 2's goal is to avoid the need for a class action lawsuit. We already have class action lawsuits against Netflix and; we don't need a third. There have been comments from hearing people about the two existing class action lawsuits, and the majority are negative. A class action lawsuit against Facebook should be our last resort to get Facebook's attention.

Finally, there are two ways to communicate our desires directly to Facebook:

Facebook's "make suggestions" page for videos

Facebook's own page. You can't post messages there, but you can post comments in response to Facebook's postings.

Please spread the word about this new fight. We have to send the message that the deaf and hard of hearing community will not tolerate automatically being left out. If Facebook is going to become a major platform for original video entertainment, we have to demand that Facebook update its video player to support closed captioning.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011's Player Now Has Closed Captioning!

In a previous post when we slammed, we said that their player didn't have CC. contacted Caption Action 2 and told us that the reason they had relaunched with no captions is because they had some technical issues that could not be resolved in time for the relaunch. They were forced to revert back to an older player. promised to update their video player within a month. Today, kept its promise and launched the new, updated video player with closed captioning support!

To see the video above, go to The captions are similar in appearance to subtitles.

According to, producers have to upload a special file (.srt or Timed Text XML) as part of the upload process if they want to include closed captions, and if they do, when you click on cc the captions go live. Only a small percentage of shows do this now, but some of the biggest shows, including Red vs. Blue, do.

Why is this such a big deal? is one of the biggest hosts of original web series programming. When they relaunched last month, they got a lot of media attention because they were the first web series host to try to make it easier for people to find the best web series. Their relaunch included a continually refreshed redesign that showcases selected web series hand-picked by editors. is also popular with web series producers because of the flexibility of its distribution network. In addition to being on, web series are also distributed to multiple partner sites, including YouTube, AOL Video, Facebook, and iTunes.

If can do it, why not Vimeo?

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Caption Action 2: June 2011 Newsletter

This is the Caption Action 2 newsletter for June 2011.

Two New Additions

May was a disappointing month. There was only one new addition to the list of closed captioned web series: Anyone But Me. The description: "Anyone But Me is an award winning, critically acclaimed drama about a new generation of gay, straight, and ethnically diverse teens struggling with identity and modern relationships."

However, we expect several more to be added in the coming months. Caption Action 2 has contacted more than 200 web series producers to date, and out of those, more than 60 have responded positively. Some are working on adding captions now.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Webby Awards Host's Web Series Lacks Captions

This week, the big news in the web series biz was that the Webby Awards will be held on June 13, 2011. The selected host is Lisa Kudrow, whose web series "Web Therapy" is an award-winning web series, having won two webby awards this year: best comedy and best individual performance. The series' description is "Lisa Kudrow stars as a therapist with limited patience for others' problems in this original improvised series." "Web Therapy" has even been picked up by the Showtime TV channel.

However, "Web Therapy" is NOT a closed captioned web series. Produced by the L Studio, an arm of Lexus, it does not have closed captions on EITHER YouTube or the web series website.

Caption Action 2 has contacted the producers of "Web Therapy" twice to ask for captions and has not had a single response. How popular is that web series? Popular enough that the esteemed actress Meryl Streep made a guest appearance! (Meryl Streep appeared in episode 46.) The series has had at least three seasons already, and only the first two seasons are on YouTube. The video player used on is incapable of showing captions, so our only hope is to convince them to caption on YouTube.

We deserve and must demand, captions on this very popular web series. Especially now that the star of that show is the host of the Webby Awards! How can you help? Contact the producers, Is or Isn't Entertainment, at On Twitter, send a tweet to @LisaKudrow.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blip.TV Redesigns Web Site, Does Nothing to Improve Accessibility!

Update: Blip has now updated their player to include captioning!

Today there was big news in the web series industry. Blip.TV announced it had redesigned their website to showcase the best, most professional web series. Not only that, Blip had raised $18 million in new funds.

Blip.TV claims it has support for closed captioning. A message on the Blip.TV support forum from Blip.TV staff on February 23, 2011 states:

"The player supports closed captioning in .SRT or .TT format. Just upload your file as a secondary format on the Edit Episode page."

Another, much longer support forum thread discusses Blip.TV support for captioning.

However, where are those captioned videos on Blip.TV?! When Blip.TV redesigned their site, they did NOTHING to make it easier to find the captioned videos! AND the video player STILL does not prominently display a CC button like the one you see on YouTube videos.

Via Google, we found this Blip.TV file:

When we played it, we observed that there was no CC button to enable hearing people to turn the captions on and off. Therefore, we can't tell if it is hard coded subtitles, or if it is truly CC.

Blip.TV needs to spend a FEW of those $18 million dollars to improve their website and video player's accessibility!!

There are other sites like Universal Subtitles,, Doom 9, and Bill Creswell's that can help with subtitle creation and/or have tools to create them.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Kids' Web Series Ruby Skye PI Begins Captioning!

This week, a children's web series, Ruby Skye P.I. became the first closed captioned children's web series (for kids aged 8 to 14) added to the master list of captioned web series. This was significant because Ruby Skye P.I., about a teenage girl detective, is an award-winning web series. At the Los Angeles Web Series Festival, Ruby Skye won eight awards:

Outstanding Interactive Narrative Comedy: Jill Golick (Creator); Kerry Young, Steven Golick, Karen Walton, Jill Golick (Producers)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Writing - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Directing - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Cinematography - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Editing - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Score - Interactive Narrative Comedy
As of this blog post, the first four episodes are closed captioned, and the producer is quickly working to add more! And more awards may be coming - Ruby Skye has been nominated for the New Media Film Festival Audience Choice Award.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Caption Action 2: May 2011 Newsletter

More Web Series Captioning

This past month saw some increase in captioned web series. We are now posting the master list of captioned web series at on the captioned web series page. New to the list since last issue:

PIONEER ONE (Producer is from a deaf family)

The list has also been improved, by adding short descriptions of each web series to help you decide what to watch.

Web Series Becoming Television

What is a web series? What is a television program? The line between the two is becoming quite blurred! For now, any original programming for the Internet is called a web series. Also, short episodes of three to five minutes each still dominate, but the writing is on the wall. The future (which is getting very close) - lies with long-form web series of television-equivalent lengths. That is, a 22 minute web series episode with commercial breaks equals a half hour television program.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Caption Action 2: April 2011 Newsletter

This is the Caption Action 2 newsletter for April 2011.

The tide seems to be turning. We are finding out that sometimes in order to get a web series captioned, all you have to do is ask. Starting with this issue, every issue will carry a master list of captioned web series at the bottom. While the list is growing, it is just a tiny segment of the huge number of web series out there.

New Beneficiary on Caption Action 2

Recently Caption Action 2 changed the beneficiary on its Facebook cause. The new beneficiary is the National Association of the Deaf. Why the NAD? The NAD was the lead organization in the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) that worked to get the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act passed.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Caption Action 2: March 2011 Newsletter

This is the Caption Action 2 newsletter for March 2011.

Two New Captioned Web Series

We like to start off with good news, so here is some: two new web series are captioned! The first one is The Vamps Next Door, at, about a family of vampires. What is interesting about this web series, is that the producers are very interested in giving actors with disabilities opportunities! Not only does this web series include a deaf character (Dewey, played by Antionette Abbamonte), they plan to have a disabled character in every episode. There's just one problem; they do not have the funding to produce more episodes. Keep an eye on their website at They hope to add a PayPal button or some other means for donations to be made to keep the web series going.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Caption Action 2: February 2011 Newsletter

This is the Caption Action 2 newsletter for February 2011.

It Starts with Students

As web series grow in popularity and are increasingly becoming the face of television online, colleges are teaching students how to create web series. After reading this article in The Seattle Times, Caption Action 2 contacted the professor who was interviewed, Ross Brown. Professor Brown teaches about web series at Chapman University in California. In addition, he is also the author of the book "Byte-Sized Television: Create Your Own TV Series for the Internet."

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

We've Got To Get Through to Major Networks!

A popular trend now is for major networks to have companion web series for their popular shows. The regular show is closed captioned online, but not the companion web series! Under the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, we have NO LEGAL WAY to force the captioning of the companion web series.

This week, NBC launched its companion web series for The Office, "Podcast." Caption Action 2 double-checked the regular series (captioned) and the web series (not captioned). Why is it that the producers will invest in captioning for the regular series, but not the web series? Are deaf and hard of hearing consumers THAT unimportant to them?

Also, just weeks ago, ABC introduced its own companion web series for their show Cougar Town, "Andy's Dreams." There was heavy promotion for ABC's new web series. In fact, the home page has a promotion under Featured. Again, the regular show has captions while the web series does not!

The most frustrating thing about this is that the networks routinely caption their regular programs - but not the shorter web series! Yet web series are growing in importance and popularity. We can't let deaf and hard of hearing viewers be left out and forgotten! We've got to get through to the major networks on web series captions, or we won't have much hope of convincing smaller online channels to caption their web series. The example must be set by the major networks!

COMPLAIN to ABC and NBC! If enough of us complain, they will get the message that they can't just simply ignore us as viewers! How to complain:

On NBC, go to and select the show from the pulldown list.
On ABC, go to and select the show.

Can CBS be far behind with their own show companion web series? Probably not, considering how much publicity ABC and NBC are getting from their own companion web series.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Caption Action 2: January 2011 Newsletter

This is the Caption Action 2 newsletter for January 2011.

Caption Action 2 Hits 15,000 Members

Caption Action 2 now has over 15,000 members. The slow but steady growth of Caption Action 2 reflects increasing awareness among people of Internet television and the lack of captions on Internet television.

Web Series Contacts

December through early January was a rather fruitless period for getting web series producers to caption. The few contacts made were targeted ones.

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