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Next Fall’s TV Stars — Today’s Web Video Favorites?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for television nerds — pilot season, the time of year when we scan casting notices and search out focus group reports on pilots for next fall’s Hulu chart-toppers. And this year for web junkies, there’s fun beyond the Internet being used as source material for shows like S— My Dad Says: Watching the once-YouTube (s GOOG) famous get their shot as cast members in comedies. Who from the online sphere stands a chance of becoming the next Jason Segal or Jenna Elfman? Here’s just a sampling of those in contention.

• Brandon Hardesty, better known to YouTube as ArtieTSMITW, has joined the cast of CBS’s Livin’ On A Prayer, created by How I Met Your Mother masterminds Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. (On April 15, he was celebrating over “something awesome” having happened — presumably this is it.)

• Olivia Munn, Attack of the Show host and’s Star Wars pin-up girl, will play Leigh in the NBC (s GE) comedy Perfect Couples.

• Nick Thune, whose online credits include Comedy Central’s (s VIA) Nick’s Big Show and who announced the Audience Choice nominees for this year’s Streamys, will co-star with Matthew Broderick in NBC’s Beach Lane.

• Sara Fletcher, who starred in the lonelygirl15-esque RedEarth9988, was swapped just last week for Kristin “Lana Lane” Kreuk on CBS’s Hitched (as first noted by Web Series Today).

• Chris Gethard, who’s made a ton of videos with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and College Humor, is taking over for Jon Heder in Comedy Central’s Big Lake.

You know what’s funny about these, by the way? Going through the press blurbs, there was VERY rarely any mention of these actors having any sort of online presence — not even Hardesty, who the Washington Post pointed to as having directly drawn his success from the web.

The other thing is this: All of these people, even Fletcher (whose role in RedEarth88 definitely had a dramatic spin), are being cast in comedies. That might be more of a reflection on the current network comedy renaissance, but still: If drama’s your game, working in online video might not get you on CBS.

Note that pilot season is full of chaos — many of these shows may not reach the air or will do so under different titles or with different casts. Hat tip for most of the casting announcements to The Futon Critic.

Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): Are Sponsored Apps the Key for Traditional Media in Mobile?

6 Responses to “Next Fall’s TV Stars — Today’s Web Video Favorites?”

  1. “Sara Fletcher, who starred in the lonelygirl15-esque RedEarth99, was swapped just last week for Kristin “Lana Lane” Kreuk on CBS’s Hitched (as first noted by Web Series Today).”

    Pretty sure that’s RedEarth88.