Peoples of online video: we are entering the 5th or 6th year of the online-video, but we’ve seen precious few online-video peeps move to television. Sure there was LisaNova and Fred’s movie. And there have been a few shows that failed, and a few more in the works (Annoying Orange)
But this we know. Most YouTube stars shouldn’t and don’t need to move to television to grow their audience or further legitimize themselves. Michael Buckley’s “What The Buck” show would be a lovely segment of some of the otherwise horrendous shows (Web Soup), but YouTube is Buckley’s more natural and independent vehicle.
That being said, there are at least a dozen or so YouTube stars or channels that lend themselves to 22 minute broadcast model, and certainly a bolder and yet safer approach for fledging networks popping out faux reality shows like Wipplewood crap during Huckleberry season (Google it).
Now could Rhett and Link, a duo I’ve long seen as having mainstream appeal, lend their talents to plenty of broadcast shows? Certainly. Is a series about local commercials a good start? Yes. Is it sustainable or fully leveraging their talents? Who knows.
But here’s the key. We need a win. We in the online-video community need to demonstrate a) that our loyalty to the trailblazers transcends the medium, and b) that an independent video creator (or creators) can indeed succeed on TV, which is not going away anymore than radio when TV arrived.
So check out Rhett and Link’s new show, and spread the word! I haven’t seen it enough to know if Entertainment Weekly’s snubby review has any merit. But I’m eager to see this prove to studios and networks that this new medium is a fertile testing ground for the next generation of television (I think it’s hard to argue that some fresh approaches are needed to counteract the absurd pile-on of sameness).
Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings is
on Hulu now:
What do you think?! I’d tell you what to think if I was on a computer not an iPhone.
Watch it this Friday 10/9c on IFC (and every Friday all summer), or at least turn it on your cable box so the ratings justify further interest in this approach to programming.
Rhett and Link tell me that Unfortunately none of the other episodes will be on Hulu–but they will be on iTunes, Amazon, and XboxLive. So get the damned Roku and let’s mobilize our army! If even 5% of Rhett and Link’s fans (and online-video viewers) engage with the content via TV and iTunes and Amazon, here’s what will happen…
The network folks will take notice. The tech companies will communicate to them that webTV is viable, and that studios can get out of their typical formula because we “trend setters” want and demand more.
Who’s with me?! Can 20 people join me in spreading the word and showing our support by watching, rating, sharing this content? Most TV viewers are too passive, so a very small army of us can wake up the new TV/web hybrid model if we’re loyal and loud.