Web series

Blip sheds partners: No money in Smart TV

Blip is geting rid of more than half of its distribution partners, including a number of Smart TV platforms like Boxee, TiVo, Samsung and Vizio. Blip explained its video producers that it simply didn’t make any revenue with any of these platforms.

Transmedia fail: Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen

Premiering this week, Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen is an online-only series in which chefs eliminated from the TV show get a chance to return to the competition. But as a case study in integrating web content into a series, it’s a potential disaster.

The Guild turns product placement into merchandising gold

Once upon a time, “The Guild” made fun of merchandising — but this year, to support ambitious plans for the show’s fifth season, a number of product placement deals were struck. And some of those deals have transformed into a wide assortment of merchandise available to fans.

Yahoo revamps video channel with Hulu and 8 new shows

Yahoo is doubling down on quality video, relaunching its video site as Yahoo Screen, a hub for original programming including eight new shows aimed at women along with a host of licensed content from Hulu, Discovery, Fox News and others.

AOL drops big bucks on original web video

AOL has seen a ton of growth in its video properties over the last year, and is looking to bolster that part of its business even more, with a slate of web original content designed to capture viewer attention and steal TV ad dollars.

FRED takes on the haters with Figgle Chat

There is a subtle genius to the latest iteration of Lucas Cruikshank’s popular (in some circles) manic online personality. While FRED evolves as a cross-platform property, the new series Figgle Chat, directed by Bobby Miller, gives his haters someone to cheer for.

What multiplatform means to Vuguru

Vuguru is one of those rarities in the web content world — a company that has been actively financing and producing web content since 2007 without going out of business, thanks to Rogers Media funding and an approach to creating truly multiplatform content with an international focus.

Can daytime soaps find new life online?

While canceled on broadcast TV, daytime soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live will continue to live on online. The strategy of distribution hasn’t been made clear yet, but the bigger question is: Will TV audiences follow those soaps online?

Happy birthday, Bree! lonelygirl15 turns 5

Five years ago today, the first ever video of lonelygirl15 was published on YouTube. Back then, many YouTube users thought lonelygirl15 was just an average teenager — but the character was part of a scripted show, which eventually became the first major web series success story.

Web video world heads to Vegas for CES awards show

What happens in Vegas… may lead to new alliances between web series producers and CE makers: The IAWTV will be hosting its first awards show for web content makers conjunction with the 2012 Consumer Electronics show. It’s also the first post-Streamys awards show for IAWTV.

Suprnova.org: Former Pirate King Embraces Web Video

Suprnova.org used to be the Internet’s biggest torrent site, and it inspired countless others to start sites like The Pirate Bay and Mininova.org. We sat down with the site’s founder to talk about lessons learned from the past and his plans for Suprnova’s future.

How Do You Define Web Series Success?

In the web series world, success can be tough to define — for every Guild there’s the series that did help its creator land a more prominent gig, or led to a bigger deal. So what are some wins for the space?

Has Dr. Horrible Really Helped Build the Web Series World?

A behind-the-scenes book detailing the production of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog has just been released, a few months shy of the seminal web series’ three-year anniversary. But looking back at the last few years, what did Joss Whedon’s “lark” really do for the web video world?

Revision3 Gets Lifehacker Show; Next Up: Sports & Cars

Revision3 published the first episode of its new weekly Lifehacker web series today, produced in cooperation with the popular Gawker blog. The show is just one attempt to tap new audiences, and Revision3’s Ryan Vance said shows targeting sports or car geeks could be next.

Will Asylum Escape the One-Season Trap?

The indie series Asylum is off to a very intriguing start on Blip.tv, but while the first season does a great job of hinting at the mysteries lurking in an isolated mental hospital, it ends with little resolution and a definite need for a season 2.

Oh, Inverted World: Donnie Darko-esque, With A Sweet Twist

The series Oh, Inverted World represents exactly what I love about covering web original content. While not perfect, it’s a show that resists predictability and features the kind of unique voice that may struggle to find a foothold in mainstream entertainment, but thrives online.

Jaleel White’s Fake It Til You Make It Falls A Bit Flat

The former Family Matters star’s take on Hollywood’s less glamorous side has solid production value and a great central performance from White. However, while there’s a wry tone that sometimes works in a laughing-on-the-inside way, many of the jokes and plotlines fall flat.

$300 Indie Dice Nails the Film Noir Style

It’s hard to get more indie than a show shot on $300 by a team of three friends, and thus give the crown to this five-episode drama, which features great cliffhangers and a cool polish that’ll appeal to any Bannen Way fan.

Variants Brings Guild-esque Charm to the Comic Book World

Set in a Dallas-area comic book store, this independently produced web series about those who sell sequential storytelling features relatively polished technical specs while invoking the best aspects of nerd-oriented comedy favorites like Clerks. But, you know, with comic books instead of coffee.

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By The Numbers: Budget Analysis of a Web Series

To get a sense of what today’s production budgets look like, we asked the producers of a web series to share their balance sheet with us and explain how the numbers fit together. Get a peek at the books for a multi-episode comedic web series that was commissioned and financed by the digital arm of a mainstream network.

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Is There a Future for Original Web Video Shows?

When “Lonelygirl15” burst on to the scene in summer of 2006, it seemed to mark a new era in video entertainment. No Hollywood studio, no broadcast network, no big-time producer. Just a group of guys with an idea, some credit cards and a DIY spirit. Despite having achieved a level of fame on the web that arguably no one since has been able to repeat, EQAL, the creator of “Lonelygirl,” is getting out of the original episodic content game to focus on creating digital extensions of existing traditional media properties. And it’s not alone. ABC shuttered Stage9, its web studio, and last fall swore off original productions in favor of web shows such as “Mode After Dark” that support ABC TV programming. If successful players like these don’t see a future in creating original episodic web content, who does? What’s the role of original intellectual property if everyone is looking for the quick hit?