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Television

MGM bets on plan for inspirational content online

LOS ANGELES – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios is known for releasing such Hollywood classics as “Ben-Hur,” “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

Now the storied, nearly century-old MGM is taking a big step into the future of bite-size entertainment. MGM this week is launching a digital content business with 25 original online video series on a platform called LightWorkers.com, created by husband-and-wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.

The Christian couple, who made the hit television miniseries “The Bible” and the movie “Son of God,” hope to attract viewers with 1- to 5-minute inspirational videos, appealing mainly to young-adult women who watch content on mobile devices. The free ad-supported service will include tutorials on thoughtful gift-giving, documentaries on people who’ve overcome tragedy, and shows for cooking and spiritual advice.

“We see this as such an underserved market,” Downey, president of MGM’s faith and family subsidiary LightWorkers Media, told The Times. “There’s a great hunger and need and a community for this … . We need to be a respite and be a reminder of what’s possible.”

The company last year launched television network Light TV, which airs family-friendly material culled from MGM’s library. The executives also plan to launch a faith-based subscription streaming channel that was first announced in 2014.

Like other free online video outlets, LightWorkers aims to make money through advertising and sponsored content.

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