By Sahil Patel
Digital platforms can be used to incubate future TV programming or feature films — just ask Fox, WIGS, Machinima, RSA, Nickelodeon, or any other company currently developing original online stuff with an eye toward turning them into traditional media franchises. In other cases, a web series or viral video is enough of a “hit” that it makes sense to adapt it into a TV show — which is what happened with Collective Digital Studio’s “The Annoying Orange” and Funny or Die’s “Drunk History,” as well as Fuse’s newest original series, “Insane Clown Posse Theater.”
Based on a series of popular videos Fuse launched on its YouTube channel last year, the “Mystery Science Theater 3000”-inspired “Insane Clown Posse Theater,” which premieres tonight at 11pm on Fuse, features the two clown-faced rappers riffing on other people’s music videos, movie trailers, and viral videos. The online batch of “ICP Theater” videos were short, with each one focusing on one video. The TV series will expand the format to include riffs on several videos within each episode. The duo will continue to comment on and make fun of other music videos (including some classic ones), movie trailers, and viral videos. Each episode will also feature a celebrity guest, who will be interviewed by the rappers and then join them on commenting on a video. Celebrities (and I’m using the term loosely here) scheduled to appear on the show include Vanilla Ice (naturally), Tom Green, and Gilbert Gottfried.
The first “ICP Theater” online video focused on Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” music video and topped 3.9 million views. Since then, the series has tackled “Gangnam Style” and the trailer for “Les Miserables,” among other clips, with varying numbers of views (as far as I can tell, none have surpassed 3.9 million). So it’ll be interesting to see how the series translates to TV. Fuse has ordered eight episodes so far.
You have to give these guys some credit for making money off the fact that they can be unintentionally hilarious.