Digital-first production companies Astronauts Wanted and Canvas Media Studios have teamed to produce the transmedia series “Socio,” created by Canvas co-founder Bernie Su (“The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” “Emma Approved”).
“Socio” is a crime thriller about a 19-year-old tech savant and budding sociopath played by India Eisley (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) who, in a “Dexter”-like twist, tracks down monstrous criminals with the help of a morally dubious police detective (Michael Copon, “Dystopia”).
The series will feature multi-platform elements that will enable viewers to dive deeper into the narrative and the mind of a sociopath.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news, a pilot has been shot and it is currently being shopped to premium digital outlets.
Canvas was formed in the spring of 2015 by Su (pictured, left), co-creator of the “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” an Emmy-winning transmedia adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice veteran TV, and digital video executive David Tochterman. Last fall, Su won an Emmy for Best Original Interactive Programming for another transmedia Jane Austen adaptation, “Emma Approved,” which took author’s characters into the modern day in an interactive format that lets viewers immerse themselves in the story on video and social media platforms.
“Canvas’ goal is to create original scripted series franchises, supported by organic engagement across multiple platforms,” said Tochterman, Canvas’ CEO, in a statement. “Astronauts Wanted has done pioneering work in this space and we’re excited to collaborate with them on this project.”
A joint venture between Judy McGrath, former chairperson and CEO of MTV Networks, and Sony Music Entertainment, Astronauts Wanted focuses on building premium, socially driven programming with the top 1% of social media stars.
Astronauts Wanted previously teamed with The Chernin Group, Fullscreen and sponsor AT&T on two transmedia series “@SummerBreak” and “SnapperHero.” “@SummerBreak” was a reality show that allowed viewers to experience the adventures of eleven California teenagers in real time across a variety of social-media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Periscope, Facebook and We Heart It. The first scripted series for snapchat, “SnapperHero” gave viewers the opportunity to offer ideas on superheroes identities, costumes, backstories, and nemeses by sending messages to the handle @SnapperHero on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
“Transmedia is the future,” said Astronauts Wanted chief creative strategist Nick Shore in a statement. “The next generation audience is consuming story across multiple screens at once. Bernie Su is a digital creator who is pioneering the cross-platform storytelling method to drive user engagement. ‘Socio’ will push the boundaries of linear, social and transmedia, having a number of unique social engagement dimensions that will further capture and fascinate the fans and allow them to enter the mind of a sociopath.”
Su will write and direct “Socio,” as well as executive produce along with McGrath, Shore and Tochterman.