NTV Rerun: EPIC-FU to TV?

Exactly a year ago we wrote about online news and pop culture show JETSET signing a distribution and monetization deal with Next New Networks. Now, in the first installment of a video industry gut-check series we’re going to call “NewTeeVee Rerun,” we asked creators Zadi Diaz and Steve Woolf (who now call their show EPIC-FU) what’s happened to them in the last 366 days.

Regarding the specific piece of news we wrote about last April 1 (not a joke then or now!), the duo say they haven’t re-signed their year-long deal with Next New Networks but they may still work out a new agreement. They also disclosed they are talking contracts with an unspecified cable television network about a TV extension of EPIC-FU.

Along with its new name, EPIC-FU has really come into its own in the last year, with a smoother and snappier delivery. Add in multiple promotions on YouTube, and you get a huge jump in viewership. The show now sees 2 million views per month across its archive, said Woolf, with new episodes receiving about 250,000 views. At this time last year, episodes were getting 30,000 to 40,000 views.

And Woolf and Diaz are making obsessive use of web tools to cultivate a community of active viewers. Their Ning-based social network MIX has nearly 2,500 members. Their month-old FUnetics ARG (that stands for alternate reality game — the increasingly popular blend of fact, fiction and conspiracy theory) is taking off, with ridiculously engaged viewers deriving passwords and tasks from recent episodes.

Woolf and Diaz said their goals for EPIC-FU in the next year include upping episode releases from weekly to daily, adding real-world events, holding a red-carpet awards show, and doubling or tripling web viewership. Oh, and getting on TV!

All and all, a year later, it sounds like things are going pretty well for EPIC-FU. But we know that can’t be true for everybody. So check back tomorrow for another NewTeeVee rerun.

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