New ‘Gossip Girl,’ other CW episodes heading to Hulu

Current season episodes of “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries” and other CW television network shows are coming to online video site Hulu.

The network, a joint venture between CBS and Warner Bros., reached a five-year deal to bring its drama and reality programming to the free, ad-supported Hulu site and the Hulu Plus subscription service. The five most recent episodes will be available the day after broadcast on Hulu Plus, which will be the only online subscription service to carry in-season episodes. (Netflix just inked a deal for streaming of past-season CW shows). On the free Hulu website, five episodes will be available eight days after they air.

The pact includes established hits such as “90210″ and “America’s Next Top Model” plus newcomers “Ringer,” “Hart of Dixie” and “The Secret Circle.” Hulu is expanding its range of content after its network and private equity owners tried to sell the website and then pulled the site off the block following months of complex negotiations.

Photo credit: GIOVANNI RUFINO/ THE CW ©2011 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Tech wrap: Blockbuster 2.0 – now streaming movies

There’s a new video streaming service on the block and it comes courtesy of an old, familiar name – Blockbuster. Blockbuster unveiled the video streaming service to subscribers of satellite provider Dish Network, which now owns Blockbuster, in a move to better compete against video rental giant Netflix and to lure customers from rival cable and satellite TV providers. Non-Dish subscribers will have to wait until Blockbuster launches a broader online streaming plan later this year, the company’s president told Reuters.

Called Blockbuster Movie Pass, the subscription service will start at $10 a month and includes DVD rentals by mail and at the company’s more than 1,500 stores. The service will offer up a selection of more than 3,000 movies streamed to televisions and 4,000 movies streamed to computers. The mail and store rentals include video games. Mail plus streaming with Netflix starts at about $16 a month. Will Blockbuster’s service be enough to threaten Netflix? Not a chance, argues CNET’s Roger Cheng. “Essentially, it’s a souped up Dish package,” writes Cheng. ” We were looking for something radically different from Dish, but we got an incremental new service plan instead.”

Amazon’s long-awaited tablet could be on its way soon. At least that’s the speculation that began floating around tech circles on Friday after the company announced plans to hold a press conference next Wednesday. Amazon declined to provide further details, but analysts were confident that the world’s largest Internet retailer will introduce its long-awaited tablet computer this year to expand in mobile commerce and sell more digital goods and services.