Afterworld (Tilzy.TV page) – the highly compelling post-apocalyptic narrative with a computer-animated, graphic-novel aesthetic – first found a following in February 2007, when it premiered on the otherwise unsuccessful Bud.tv.
Since then, the series has become somewhat of viral hit on YouTube, its distribution rights have been acquired by Sony, and, as of yesterday, has found a new home on both MySpace TV and the Sci-Fi Channel.
The series is produced by Stan Rogow (Lizzie MacGuire) and written by Brent Friedman (Mortal Kombat 2) of Santa Monica-based Electric Farm Entertainment with an estimated $3 million budget. Broken down into 130 two to three-minute episodes, Afterworld follows technologist Russel Shoemaker as he wakes up from a global fall-out in the not-too-distant future and begins his trek from New York to Seattle in search of his family.
A substantial, niche fan base has followed the series since its premiere, but exposure to MySpace’s reported 115 million monthly active users could propel the series into the mainstream. “We’re confident this is going to be an enormous success,” said Jeff Berman, general manager for MysSpace TV.
Like the web series to appear on the social networking site before it – including Prom Queen (Tilzy.TV page) and LonelyGirl15 (Tilzy.TV page) – Afterworld will allow for a certain amount of interactivity, including puzzles, character profiles and blogs, and a user-guided map allowing fans to explore Shoemaker’s journey.
The Sci-Fi Channel in Australia also began broadcasting episodes this month, airing in 13 half-hour installments and marking the network’s latest dip into the pool of quality online programming after it signed a development deal with Francis Stokes of the theocentric sitcom, God Inc.
What’s next for Electric Farm Entertainment? The LA Times reports that, “In addition to a second season of ‘Afterworld,’ Electric Farm will produce two other Web series, including one about Los Angeles zombies called ‘Woke up Dead,’ and ‘The Gemini Division’ starring Rosario Dawson as New York cop investigating the bizarre murder of her husband. Both combine animation and live action.”
Zombies and Rosario Dawson!?! I can’t wait.