To understand how web studio Next New Networks handles web series you have to think in verticals. The New York-based company rolls separately branded content verticals in everything from animation (Channel Frederator) to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) fashion (Threadbanger) to political comedy (Barely Political). For the DIY filmmaker set, there’s Indy Mogul, its increasingly popular network of web series with a flair for indie filmmaking which now averages over 2.5 million video views per month.
This week Indy Mogul added a new web series, The Reel Good Show, to its roster which includes Beyond the Trailer and Erik Beck’s Backyard FX. Ok, while technically it’s a new series, its host Bobby Miller was already an Indy Mogul staple, having hosted two seasons of the award-winning The Best Short Films in the World. But like all things, sometimes a show needs a refresh and the time comes for something new.
The season finale of Best Short Films hinted at Miller’s new series, alluding to the additional staff and resources that NNN was ready to put behind him. It’s a broader, more universal series – playing to Miller’s strength as a comedian. They’re calling it “a movie lover’s comedy show,” setting Miller behind a desk next to a chair for guest interviews.
“We wanted to break him out of his small apartment,” said Next New Networks’ Vanessa Pappas. “We looked at engagement graphs on the show (Best Short Films) and it’s really on Bobby’s comedic bits that people were most engaged. So for us from the programming end, it’s said let’s get Bobby into the spotlight and build a show around that.”
Miller had basically worked his way up at NNN, coming on doing promo work and later editing Backyard FX before pitching the idea of Best Short Films. Once he got out of his apartment and started hitting the streets, he was able to let his improv comedy come out. “I really enjoyed the Sundance episode where I was interating with people,” said Miller. “It’s much more fun when people are playing with you.”
For now, there aren’t specific metrics of success, or view thresholds that are set on the show by the network. “It’s about building an audience,” added Miller. “It’s a much broader show than Best Short Films, so it should appeal to more people.”
The show debuted this Thursday with guest Amber Lee Ettinger (Obama Girl) challenged to a cry-off contest against Miller. Sure, it seems a bit of stretch to hook film buffs via Obama Girl comedy bits, but future guests seem a little more on topic. Next week is Sam Reich, director of CollegeHumor and future eps have Will Graham, director of The Onion News Network and actor Casey Margolis (The Hangover, Superbad). New episodes come out every Thursday night at 11PM ET.