Bright idea? AOL plans to make CliffsNotes into Web shows

AOL is hoping that that CliffsNotes on the works of Mark Twain, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens equates to Web video gold.

AOL is hoping that that CliffsNotes on the works of Mark Twain, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens equates to Web video gold.

The company on Monday announced a partnership with Mark Burnett, John Wiley & Sons and Coalition Films to create "a series of comedic video shorts based on CliffsNotes Literature Guides."

Comedic? CliffsNotes? Color me skeptical. Obviously, AOL isn't nearly as skeptical. IT plans to bring these CliffsNotes videos to AOL.com in 2011.

Here's the overview from a statement:

Burnett’s One Three, Inc., in partnership with Coalition Films, has acquired the rights from Wiley to develop CliffsNotes videos based on classic works of literature. This new partnership will bring video versions of CliffsNotes Literature Guides to the online masses by presenting classic works of fiction in humorous, irreverent, animated shorts that still manage to present the plots, characters, and themes to the viewer. Burnett and Coalition will work with Wiley to develop high quality videos that provide analysis, interpretation, and criticism of the great works of literature in a fun and highly memorable way.

This experiment is definitely worth watching. Teachers everywhere are going to cringe as students acknowledge that they didn't read the book, but watched an animated short on AOL.

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