Sofia Brings it Back to Bebo

TfL named sole sponsor of the third series of Sofia's Diary on Bebo

London – 28 May 2008 – AOL owned Bebo and Sony Pictures Television today announced the return of Sofia's Diary as it embarks on its third season on the popular social networking site (www.bebo.com/sofiasdiary). In a refreshed look from former seasons, Sofia's Diary is set to reach broader, newer audiences with edgier story lines and a more grown up Sofia.

Transport for London (TFL) becomes the sole sponsor of season 3 as part of its latest campaign to encourage teenagers to take more responsibility when close to or crossing roads. The series is scheduled to run over the course of 6 weeks airing at 5.30pm every Tuesday and Friday. In addition, viewers can interact with the show via text messages and video blogs. The first episode will air on Friday, 29 May.

As part of a sophisticated integration into the plot, TFL will become part of a storyline in which Sofia is asked to write a 'serious in-depth feature' on road traffic accidents - a bigger killer than knife crime. Although disinterested at first, an unexpected and life changing course of events leads her to take the issue more seriously. The storyline sees her visit schools to talk to people about how one teenager is killed or seriously injured every day on London roads and the realisation that it could be any of us, including her.

"We're really excited to have Sofia back for a third season on Bebo, and in true Sofia's Diary style, our users can expect a rollercoaster ride of events and some especially thought provoking storylines," said Kate Burns, VP and Managing Director Europe, Bebo. "We're also pleased to be able to work with TFL again - its integration into the third season really adds to the drama and in a manner that is both natural and seamless."

"Every day a teenager is killed or seriously injured on London roads. While the number is continuing to fall, even one injury is one too many. Young people are major consumers of online media and it makes perfect sense to work with Bebo on this project," said Chris Lines, Head of London Road Unit, Transport for London. "This storyline starkly illustrates the importance of paying attention when using or nearby roads. Part of our latest teen road safety campaign, the series will present the issue to young people within a familiar environment. Sofia thinks that 'road safety' is barely important until she is affected in the aftermath of an incident. We are using a number of different initiatives – from print articles to blogs – to get people talking about the issue and message 'look out for your mates'. The aim of all this work is to contribute to further reductions of the number of casualties on London roads."

With edgy storylines and a refreshed show brand, season three sees Sofia faced with some big decisions regarding her future as her time at school draws to an end and the magazine she works for plans to close down. Everyone around her seems to have their lives planned out; Jill is setting up a record label and trying to sign her first act, Rebecca has her sights set on an internship at a "serious" daily newspaper and Josh is expanding his horizons by travelling around the world – and just as Sofia seems to decide what path she wants to take, a sudden tragedy changes everything.

Over the course of seasons one and two, Sofia's Diary experienced huge popularity online with more than 26* million interactions. In April 2008, the series became the first of its kind in the UK to make the crossover to traditional television with FIVE adding Sofia's Diary to its schedule.

Conceived by Nuno Bernardo, Sofia's Diary was originally launched in Portugal in 2003 as an experimental web and mobile service whose brand has also been extended to books and DVDs. Sofia's Diary has run for four series on Portuguese state broadcaster, RTP2, and has since been adapted for audiences in Brazil, Chile, Turkey, and Vietnam.

Sofia's Diary is produced by Campbell Ryan Productions on behalf of Sony Pictures Television.

About Bebo
Bebo is your life online. It is a social experience the helps you discover what's going on with your world and helps the world discover what's going on with you. Bebo has almost 27 million** unique visitors worldwide and on the days that they use Bebo, they spend an average of 22** minutes on the site.

Bebo is a part of AOL People Networks, a collection of community platforms that help improve people's lives by connecting them with everyone and everything they care about. People Networks does this through a Web-based experience on Bebo.com, through desktop clients and mobile devices.

People Networks combines the AIM and ICQ personal communications networks, social media network Bebo and social search and answer service Yedda. People Networks' collection of community platforms reaches 80 million*** unduplicated users worldwide. People Networks is a business unit of AOL LLC, a majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

Source for metrics data in this release:
* Internal Bebo data
** comScore Media Metrix (April 2009)
*** Custom AOL-defined People Networks report, based on comScore Media Metrix Audience Duplication report (April 2009)

Twitter:
www.twitter.com/bebo_fodder
www.twitter.com/AOLPeopleNetwrk

Flickr:
www.flickr.com/photos/aolpeoplenetworks

Contact:
Sarah Gavin
AOL People Networks
+44 (0)20 7291 4903
sarah.gavin@corp.aol.com

Alex Brown
AOL People Networks (International)
+44 (0)20 7291 4918
alex@beboinc.com

Johanna Cassells
Sony Pictures Television
+44 (0) 207 533 1363
johanna_cassells@spe.sony.com

Ruben Govinden
Transport for London
(0)20 7126 4542
rubengovinden@tfl.gov.uk

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