Adventures in Digital Series Land #111
by Leesa Dean
First, I’m finally over the hump. Meaning, about to start production on the last part of this new series. Something that should take about 6 – 8 weeks. Yes, I’m psyched! Also, a little scared. Not only about putting myself on the line again, but just the sheer volume of work ahead just promoting it is intimidating. I’m prepping so much stuff with so many plans I can barely see straight. But, it’s necessary. And I’m taking my cues from the big guys (even though I’m doing this on a minuscule level).
So what are the big guys doing? Continuing to blur the lines between cable, tv and digital. If you’ve been on another planet (or, ahem, haven’t happened to read this blog where I rant and rave about it), things are now in full effect with execs and creatives from digital moving into cable and tv positions and visa versa. And what that means for shows and series is: more and more content is being produced online to help promote shows. I thought it was really telling that The Daily Show with Trevor Noah hired Baratunde Thurston as a Supervising Producer for Digital.
Thurston has been at the forefront of all things digital content (he was the Director of Digital at The Onion) for many years plus, he did this which forever earned him my respect. It’s a big step for a show that’s that high profile, especially since all eyes will be watching Noah to see if he fills Jon Stewart’s shoes, to hire somebody with those specific internet credentials–someone who easily straddles both worlds but really and truly understands promoting on the internet–to set things up on twitter, instagram and snapshot.
Bits made just for social media that are perceived as original content but really promotional can drive the profile of a show way up. Amy Schumer’s Comedy Central show hasn’t had huge ratings but its social media sketches have gone viral. And the viral sketches that Key & Peele and Jimmy Kimmel have put out helped bring in huge audiences for them. At this point, it’s really becoming a necessity for all shows and the Daily Show’s hiring of Thurston was a smart move.
So if you’re a little guy, like I am, that just means it’s crucial to have ancillary content to help promote your series. And not just one or two things. But a regular stream of stuff. Phew. I’m exhausted just thinking about what lies ahead.
Leesa Dean is the creator of CHILLTOWN TV, a digital series to reckon with. Learn more about Leesa and the series HERE