ABC to offer prime-time shows online free of charge

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ABC to offer prime-time shows online free of charge

Starting in May, ABC will be offering several prime-time shows for online viewing. Episodes of Desperate Housewives, Lost, Commander in Chief and Alias will be available for download a day after they run on the network. The shows will be free, but will include advertising that cannot be fast-forwarded through during viewing.

Users will be able to download the shows from the ABC.com website for two months beginning in May. Several advertisers, like AT&T, Cingular and Ford, have been lined up to support the shows. Ad-free versions of some of these shows are already being sold on iTunes for $1.99 each.

Disney, the owner of ABC, also plans on releasing some children’s shows for download.