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Bebo appoints exec to handle original content

Kelly Brett, a London-based television producer, has already been working on Bebo-commissioned video content for the past year.

The knife-wielding cast of 'KateModern.'

Bebo doesn't just want to be that social network that AOL bought--it also wants to be a hub for entertainment.

The site, now part of the Time Warner unit's "People Networks" division, has appointed the London-based Kelly Brett as its head of original productions.

Brett had last worked on KateModern, a Bebo-hosted video series created by Lonelygirl15 production company Eqal (then known as LG15 Productions), and she also counts projects for television networks like the BBC, Sky, and ITV on her resume.

The youth-oriented Bebo, with most of its popularity concentrated in the United Kingdom and Ireland, has hosted several original series, in addition to KateModern: Gap Year, Sofia's Diary, and The Secret Life of Sam King. Sofia's Diary was later picked up by the U.K.'s Channel Five network, making it the first British TV show to arise on the Web. In the United States, the buzzed-about Web series Quarterlife was picked up by NBC but canceled after a single episode due to low ratings.

Brett's first project is the currently airing Sam King, a collaboration between Bebo and Universal Music about a fictional Universal mail room employee whose dealings with real-life bands and artists are detailed in the comedy series.

The "social network as entertainment venue" model has been explored in varying degrees by different companies; in the U.S., the best-known example of the phenomenon is News Corp.'s MySpace, which hosts the occasional original show on its MySpaceTV platform. It also served as the platform for the final episode of the syndicated Lonelygirl15.