My Damn Channel: Same old thing from different people.
I thought Hollywood was supposed to be a fountain of creativity. Harry Shearer, Andy Milonakis and Paul Reiser certainly have the credentials to create some fresh content for a fresh medium, but My Damn Channel is as drab and unoriginal as the name suggests.
Rob Barnett, the CBS Radio and MTV Networks veteran that created My Damn Channel highlights his novel approach: “We’re giving artists total freedom, and we’re paying for everything — technology, bandwidth, PR, production and promotion to put up a fully functioning Web site.” Welcome to 2007, Mr. Barnett. Artists already have access to technology and creative freedom. Ever heard of YouTube, Brightcove, Blip.TV?
What internet-TV needs, however–and where Hollywood big shots should devote their energy, in my humble opinion–is the development of high-quality niche content like Clarke and Michael (Tilzy), Indy Mogul (Tilzy) or Flow.TV (Tilzy), not catch-all comedy warehouses with ambiguous brands. We have enough of that.
Maybe, in the end, My Damn Channel will pull it off with some original episodic content a la Black20 (Tilzy ) or Super Deluxe (Tilzy) but, so far, the site features generally unfunny self-referential promos and scattered, (very) short form sketch comedy lacking a cohesive link. It looks as if this content was thrown together in an afternoon.
Liz Gannes of NewTeeVee notes the likeness of My Damn Channel to Funny or Die which has created a quality product by engaging a community though impressive viral marketing, but will its bastard stepchild thrive? We’ll find out.
One last note to Hollywood entrants to internet-TV: Content is still king. Do what you do best–create fresh content–and eyeballs will follow.