Hayden Black, the creator of mock news show Goodnight Burbank, has signed a deal to create a pilot for the new HBO Online, according to an anonymous source.
The source tells us the new show’s working title is “Abigail’s X-Rated Teen Vlog” and Black will be writing, starring, producing, and directing it — oh, and also delivering it by late next week. Black is still in talks with HBO Online regarding picking up his first show, Goodnight Burbank.
Here’s an old favorite Goodnight Burbank episode. The full story, below the jump.
Black, a long-time producer of on-air promos, didn’t “get a break” into showbiz; he made his own break. While taking an improv class, Black heard about a market research report saying podcasting listeners would grow to 60 million people from 11 million people over the next four years. We remember that report; it was by the Diffusion Group, and at the time we said it was “seriously over-optimistic.”
Black had an entirely different reaction. Corralling people from his improv class, he started a video podcast using a free online tutorial.
The show mimics nightly newscasts and the personalities behind them, albeit in compressed 6-minute-long form. Black describes his sense of humor as “not beholden to focus groups.”
“The nightmare I’ve always wanted has finally come true,” Black had told us a few weeks ago, when the opportunities started phoning in. “When I started I said it’d be great to build an audience but I really want to go into television. Now, as the year has progressed, I would be happy to monetize on the internet — or ultimately, both.”
Black joins a group of online video stars that are succeeding on mostly their own terms. Amanda Congdon is also working on a show for HBO Online. Ask a Ninja just signed a deal to monetize its website in a deal worth at least $300K rather than having to take its creativity elsewhere. Former Congdon collaborator Andrew Michael Baron says his Rocketboom made nearly $250K this year.