Seinfeld and Letterman Booked as Early Guests
As renewals become the only barometer for programming success in the digital video world, here comes another. This time from JASH for flagship live format — “Norm MacDonald Live”, which the comedy-focused media company has renewed for a third season. Premiering on Tuesday, July 25th, after a 9 month hiatus, the format, hosted by snarky comedian and New York Times best-selling author Norm MacDonald, is a talk show that airs live to tape weekly. And with the third season, which made a brief return in the Fall of 2016, JASH is expanding distribution to include other channels in the JASH Network like Amazon Video and Pluto TV. It will also be same-day-released as an audio-only podcast via iTunes.
“It’s really our great privilege to be able to work with Norm and help give him a forum to showcase his comedic genius. You’d be hard pressed to find someone more universally revered in the comedic community than Norm — as reflected by the incredible bookings he’s getting for our small, intimate show,” said comedy-industry vet and JASH co-founder/CEO Daniel Kellison.
The podcast-style series originally premiered in 2013 and will continue with another 10 episodes and “possibly more”, according to a JASH spokesperson. Early guests on Season Three include David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Mike Tyson and Sarah Silverman, who join former guests like Bill Hader, David Spade and Russell Brand.
“This season is exciting for a number of reasons on the franchise front for us,” said JASH co-founder and COO Mickey Meyers. “Norm is, as David Letterman put it “an undermined natural resource of this country,” so the ability to be able to make a show like this without network notes, and distribute it to the audience direct, while maintaining ownership is, hopefully, another step in the evolution of comedy creation and distribution.”
Podcast formats, generally, have done well in the digital age, and have seen a resurgence over the last year as funding for podcasts has climbed. Similar format, Doug Benson’s “Getting Doug with High”, is now approaching its 160th episode and sits alongside “Norm MacDonald Live” as one of JASH’s standout programs.
Viewership on both series has ranked in the hundreds of thousands per episode, a blip in comparison viewership for general late night television formats of a similar style. Regardless of numbers, standout programming that accumulates a cult following merits renewals and, ultimately, renewals help build the overall value chain for digital IP — a missing link in the programming strategy for so many digital publishers over the last few years.