Webisodes is the term created by the Ad Council to describe the latest attempt by television to dominate (if not wipe out completely) the Internet. Webisodes were created to attract those people into such hip, new websites such as YouTube and MySpace. (The fact that these TV execs consider these sites "hip" and "new" underscores just how far behind the curve they are.) Unlike shows which are broadcast over the airwaves (like network television) or by satellite (like cable television), Webisodes are broadcast onto the Internet. Typically, networks make Webisodes available to the viewer either at a small cost, a small fee, or for free if they agree to watch advertisements during the broadcast.
"Webisodes" were created by Leo Laporte, before he was forced to flee to Canada. The name "Webisode" was derived from the show Spiderman, which was the first show ever broadcast by this format. The show, originally broadcast on the Internet (then known as the "World Wide Web") in 1991, is still available as a series of ASCII files on some website, somewhere.