Today, NBC Universal, has joined the slew of new streaming destinations being released with the launch of comedy-centric “Seeso”. According to EVP of NBCU Digital Enterprises Evan Shapiro, comedy was an obvious fit given it tends to do so well categorically and based on significant research NBCU conducted on the genre. But in addition to this simple fact, NBC Universal has no shortage of archival comedy content, both from it’s linear production arm — Broadway Video — and its digital counter part “Above Average”, much of which will be made available on Seeso, and most notably all 40 years of SNL.
Curious on the business angle of Seeso? Read it here.
As far as programming strategy, Shapiro notes that they aren’t looking to replace television but instead merge the best parts of digital with the best of television. And the first content being made available on Seeso certainly reflects that — a blend of tentpole syndicated comedy shows, exclusive and Seeso-produced original programs, live specials, and a limited of feature films. Highlights on the syndicated programming include 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Rec, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers. International titles are included as well. The Mighty Boosh, Fawlty Towers, and A bit of Fry and Laurie will be made available. Cult classic Monty Python also has an exclusive home on Soosh.
While searching for comedy darling series may be the main entry point for the consumer, Seeso hopes to keep the viewer with a slate of original programming.
The plan for rolling out this high volume of content? All library content will stream perpetually while originals will be made available on a weekly basis, consistent with the appointment viewing model of television. :15, :30, and :60 formats will be commissioned by the programming team, led by Patricia Parra Hadden. Daily standup comedy and short form clips will roll out as part of Seeso’s strategy to capture the mobile viewer. Live comedy specials will also air weekly leading first with specials from Cameron Esposito, Matt Besser and Big Jay Oakerson.
As far as the feature film plans — Shapiro made note that their library would intentionally be limited and themed around certain topics. Given April is “Marijuana Month”, for instance, films released that month would include movies like Dazed and Confused.
Seeso has also commissioned originals from Above Average and Collective Digital Studio, mostly in sketch comedy, variety, and semi-scripted formats. Highlight on the originals side include The UCB Show with Amy Pohler and Matt Besser, The Amazing Gayl Pile, which will be pulled from YouTube to air on Seeso, and Take My Wife, from Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher. See a full list of programming below.
What about the content on Hulu and YouTube? How is this streaming destination differentiating from a user experience?? What’s the price? And who is the target audience? All that is answered over here.
New Series: (Alphabetical)
Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ (8×30)
A half-hour, semi-scripted comedy with an ensemble of seven real estate agents set against the backdrop of a luxury, cut throat LA real estate firm. Created and Executive Produced by Kulap Vilaysack. Executive Produced by Tom Lennon, Ben Garant, Scott Aukerman and David Jargowsky. Production services by Comedy Bang! Bang! Productions for Paramount Television.
Before the Morning After (10×15)
A late night comedy entertainment show featuring the world’s best comedians getting drunk in a diner at 2am at the world’s largest festival. Hosts include Jena Friedman, Alex Edelman, Greg Proops, and more. Executive Produced by Gary Reich for Brown Eyed Boy.
Big Jay Oakerson’s What’s Your F*@#ing Deal (8×30)
Let go of pretension and leave your ego at the door as Big Jay Oakerson leads a pack of comics in a completely improvised show based on interactions with the crowd. Starring and Executive Produced by Jay Oakerson. Executive Produced by Cris Italia, David Kimowitz, Lou Wallach, and Frank Mosca.
Dave & Ethan: Lovemakers (6×30)
A comedic sketch and gameshow that makes impromptu love connections between contestants plucked off the streets of New York City. Starring and Executive Produced by Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixell. Executive Produced by Jen Danielson, Ashley Bearden and Josh Poole for Above Average.
An imaginative, cinematic comedy about an eccentric family — The Flowers — struggling to hold themselves together. Starring Olivia Colman and Julian Barratt. Written and Directed by Will Sharpe. Executive Produced by Naomi de Pear and Diederick Santer for Kudos. A co-production with Channel 4.
Gentlemen Lobsters (8×15)
Based on the hit GQ series, Garrett and Quinn are best friends and roommates struggling to survive the devastating reality that is being a twentysomething lobster. Starring and Executive Produced by Kevin Burrows and Matt Mider. For Condé Nast Entertainment, Executive Producers are Dawn Ostroff, Michael Klein and Jed Weintrob. For HotHouse Productions, Executive Producers are Michael J. Rizzo and Sean Conroy.
A comedic journey into the hilarious world of fantasy roleplaying with Dan Harmon and his Comedian Companions. Starring Dan Harmon, Spencer Crittenden, Erin McGathy, and Jeff Bryan Davis. Created and Executive Produced by Dan Harmon and Spencer Crittenden. Produced by Starburns Industries and Universal Cable Productions.
Hidden America with Jonah Ray (9×30)
A fake travel show where the places are real but the people aren’t. Starring Jonah Ray. Executive Produced by Ray, Troy Miller, Alex Murray, Todd Sellers and produced by Dakota Pictures.
Live From The Barrel House (8×60)
A live stand-up series set at the famed Barrel House in San Francisco and featuring showcase performances from top comedians. Executive Produced by Rooftop Comedy.
New York’s Funniest (4×30 & 1×60)
Launched in 2008 and set at the famed Carolines on Broadway, the “New York’s Funniest” competition is open to any and all performers from around The Big Apple — the comedy mecca — who think they have what it takes to be “New York’s Funniest.” Executive Produced by Caroline Hirsch, Louis Faranda, Andrew Fox, and Lou Wallach.
Night Train with Wyatt Cenac (6×60)
A freewheeling mix of stand up, music and other surprises, where anything can happen and anything is welcome, Night Train with Wyatt Cenac captures the amazing talent and spontaneity that has made the live show a staple of the New York comedy scene for the past three years. Starring and Executive Produced by Wyatt Cenac. Produced by Avalon Television Inc., with Marianne Ways as Executive Consultant.
Sammy J & Randy in Ricketts Lane (6×30)
A musical comedy about two mismatched housemates from the acclaimed comedic duo, Sammy J — a human — and Randy — a purple puppet. Starring Sammy J and Randy. Created and written by Sammy J & Randy. Produced by Donna Andrews, Co-Producer Chris McDonald, Directed by Jonathan Brough, Sticky Pictures Executive Producers Donna Andrews & Stu Connolly ABC Executive Producers Rick Kalowski & Brett Sleigh. A Sticky Pictures Production in association with the ABC TV, Screen Australia and Film Victoria.
Soul Mates (6×30)
The story of two kindred spirits trapped in a cycle of death and rebirth, exploring love, loyalty and fashion in four different lifetimes. Starring Nick Boshier and Christiaan Van Vuuren. Created by Christiaan Van Vuuren, Connor Van Vuuren and Nick Boshier. Written and directed by Connor Van Vuuren and Christiaan Van Vuuren. Produced by Chloe Rickard. Executive Producers Rick Kalowski, Greg Waters and Abe Forsythe. A Van Vuuren Bros and Ludo Production in association with ABC TV, Screen Australia and Screen NSW.
Take My Wife (w/t) (6×30)
A half hour single-cam series that follows a young married couple as elements of their domestic lives provide material for the underground standup showcase they co-host. Starring and Executive Produced by Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher. Executive Produced by Scott Aukerman and David Jargowsky for Comedy Bang! Bang! Productions.
The Amazing Gayl Pile (10×15)
A scripted series about one man’s misguided quest to conquer the world of home shopping. Starring and Executive Produced by Morgan Waters and Brooks Gray. Executive Produced by Matt King and Andrew Ferguson for LaRue Entertainment in association with Tom Spriggs for The Coronel Group, Jonathan Stern for Abominable Pictures, Paul Scheer for 2nd Man on the Moon and Becca Kinskey.
The Comedy Show Show (8×60)
A series highlighting the best themed comedy shows across the U.S., from panel shows to contests to comedy storytelling. Executive Produced by Rooftop Comedy.
The Cyanide & Happiness Show (10×15)
An animated comedy series based on the popular web comic, which has cultivated a passionate online following with more than 4.9 million YouTube subscribers and 821 million views, including a record 117 million monthly views this past August. Created and Executive Produced by Rob DenBleyker, Kris Wilson and Dave McElfatrick of ExplosmEntertainment, and Executive Produced by Collective Digital Studio.
The UCB Show (8×30)
A weekly variety showcase for the best sketch, characters and stand-up homegrown at the UCB Theatres in LA and NYC. Hosted by Upright Citizens Brigade co-founders Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh and filmed with a live audience at UCB Sunset in Hollywood. Executive Produced by Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, Bart Coleman, and Lou Wallach.
A workplace comedy with reality elements, Thingstarter is about a startup company that develops ridiculous yet plausible products and takes them into the real world to get feedback from real people and experts. Created and Executive Produced by Lucas Klauss, Matt Moskoviac, and Ben Stadler. Executive Produced by Jen Danielson, Ashley Bearden, and Josh Poole for Above Average.
Besser Breaks The Record (1×60)
An hour-long stand up special from Matt Besser. From Comedy Dynamics.
Rory Scovel: The Charleston Special (1×60)
An hour-long stand up special from Rory Scovel. Executive Produced by Rory Scovel, Molly Mandel, and Mike Berkowitz.
Untitled Cameron Esposito Stand Up Special (1×60)
An hour-long stand up special from Cameron Esposito. From Comedy Dynamics.