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AOL picks up Web series from James Franco, Steve Buscemi

AOL has tapped a diverse lineup of celebrities to contribute to its original programming slate, ordering 12 new Web series from the likes of James Franco, Steve Buscemi, and Zoe Saldana.

At its NewFront presentation Tuesday night in Brooklyn, the company showed a commitment to short-form programming with a roster of 16 mostly unscripted programs with episode lengths of 10 minutes or less. The one exception is Connected, AOL’s first long-form series, which is slated for a 20-episode initial run of half-hour episodes. It follows five seemingly unconnected New Yorkers as their individual stories are woven together.

But star power is the strength of this AOL Originals lineup. New celebrity-focused series include Making a Scene with James Franco, during which the actor and his pals talk about some of their favorite films and re-create iconic scenes; previously announced Park Bench, featuring Buscemi striking up conversations with famous friends — as well as strangers — on the streets of New York City; and My Hero from executive producer Saldana, which allows celebrities to pay a surprise tribute to someone who inspired and changed their lives. READ FULL STORY

Steve Buscemi to star in new AOL original series

Steve Buscemi is looking to trade the boardwalk for a park bench.

AOL announced Wednesday that it will launch a new original series, titled Park Bench, starring New Yorker Steve Buscemi as he gives “a local’s take on the special people, places and spirit of The Big Apple.” And how will he do that? Well, Buscemi will partake in unscripted conversations with fellow New Yorkers (with a few of Buscemi’s famous friends thrown in for good fortune).

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