AOL teams with 'Survivor's' Burnett for series of CliffNotes comedy shorts

AOL is continuing its content acquisition binge as it positions itself as the place to go for alternative online video. The site today announced a deal with British television producer Mark Burnett (yes, of Survivor fame), and CliffNotes publisher John Wiley & Sons and Coalition Films, to create a series of comedic video shorts based on, wait for it, CliffNote versions of some of the world's greatest literature.

How, you wonder, do you get a laugh out of, say, Crime and Punishment? AOL says the partnership will bring video versions "to the online masses by presenting classicworks 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."

AOL has been very busy transforming its own business into a video work of art itself, signing more than 20 deals with content providers and digital studios for programming, much of it original, since the middle of 2010.

AOL has, in the past year, seen its video views increase three-fold, AOL Media and Studios President David Eun said during an NATPE Q&A in Miami this week.

AOL has announced several new video franchises not seen anywhere else on the Web, including partnerships with Heidi Klum, Endemol, Vuguru, Ben Silverman's Electus, Next New Networks, Telepictures Productions and the Ellen DeGeneres Show Web site and

Other video franchises across AOL's owned and operated properties include You've Got, AOL Sessions; The Engadget Show; Translogic on AOL Autos; a number of shows on - Cambio Connect, Cambio Style, Cambio Goes Home, Cambio Cares; and The Secret Millionaire's Club on AOL Kids.

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
AOL signs content deal with Heidi Klum, Full Picture Entertainment
AOL: 5min Media acquisition helps build 'video ecosystem'
AOL's David Eun on the 5min Media acquisition
Online Video Distribution Network goviral Acquired by AOL Europe