YouTube covets TV gold with new channels | Reuters (click for full article) "May 1 (Reuters) - The cramped third-floor studio where a scarf-wearing puppet is being filmed feels more like the hive of an Internet startup than the set of a video production.Squatting behind a table on one end of the room, the show's director does double-duty as puppeteer, while colleagues outside the camera's field of view toil on Mac computers. Peter Furia, the director-***-puppeteer, has no formal background in acting. But with years of experience making short online videos that "went viral" on the Web, Furia and two partners have high hopes for American Hipster, a new YouTube "channel" that streams three original series every week. American Hipster is one of about 100 channels covering topics ranging from food to sports that YouTube is bankrolling to attract advertising dollars of the television world by getting YouTube users to adopt the habits of television viewers. The success of the channels will test whether YouTube, a division of Google Inc, can evolve from a popular hub for home videos into an influential player in the entertainment industry's big leagues. On Wednesday, YouTube will promote a new slate of original channels to big-brand advertisers in New York, hosting for the first time a splashy "upfront" event where marketers preview upcoming television shows and allocate ad dollars. It joins a growing crop of other Internet services, from Hulu to AOL and Yahoo, also trying to lure TV dollars to their own growing menus of online video programming. "