In advance of Saturday's debut of Apple's iPad, ABC on Thursday introduced its free ABC Player App, allowing users to watch -- in the beginning, at least -- about ten ABC shows, including Lost, Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Dancing With The Stars, Desperate Housewives, Flash Forward, V, and Modern Family. (CBS said that it will also stream some of its shows, but through Apple's built-in browser, not a special iPad app.) While ABC noted that the shows could only be streamed via wi-fi, industry observers were quick to point out that the first iPad models being released can only connect to the Internet via wi-fi. The announcement came just one day after an episode of ABC's Modern Family featured the Apple device as a plot device (the father desperately wants one for his birthday). Apple, ABC, and 20th Century Fox Television have all maintained that no product-placement deal was involved in the episode; however, others were quick to point out that ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Co., whose largest shareholder is Apple chief Steve Jobs. And -- free or not -- fans of the show, which won a Peabody award this week, took to the Internet to voice their complaints, several proteSting that they had been forced to sit through a half-hour commercial for the iPad. In a related matter, the Los Angeles Times reported today that a new iPad app from Netflix will allow users of the device to view content from its library of 17,000 movies and television shows.

02/04/2010