Private - web seriesI’m not sure what it is that hooked me into this whole Private web series casting call, but it’s got me. Maybe it’s the “public” nature of this thing, opening up a series regular role to would-be teen stars all over the country to submit videos for why they should land the role of vicious prep model Kiran Hayes on the series. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s a reality competition for a web series gig. Either way, it’s intriguing.

Since its announcement back in May, the producers received hundreds of videos from eligible teens before widdling down the crop to a final three (Janine, Nicole and Sanna) who were flown out to LA for a Bravo-style reality competition for the role. For judges, they’ve brought in the show’s writers,  Sarah Kucserka and Veronica Becker along with Gossip Girl executive producer Bob Levy.

PrivateThe prequel “Casting” series is six episodes that will lead up to the launch of the 20-episode scripted web drama which launches on August 11th. Backing the project is Alloy Entertainment, the studio behind TV teen dramas like Gossip Girl and the upcoming CW show Vampire Diaries. It’s the second original web series on Teen.com, having recently launched its UTA-backed Haute and Bothered.

This series has the golden trinity of pillars in place—Distribution: Teen.com, Major Sponsor: Johnson & Johnson’s Carefree brand, and Professional Content: Alloy Entertainment. Having these three means it will most likely make this show a monetary success whether or not anyone actually likes it. You could even argue there’s a fourth pillar, with the series’ tie-in to the popular teen-mystery novels by author Kate Brian.

My only real gripe here is a familiar one—no embeddable episodes. Teen.com is the only place anyone can watch the series, and its subpar video player isn’t exactly social media friendly. What’s worse is this is the prequel series, the casting call, to the actual scripted drama. Why not open that up wide and hook a wider audience than the 500,000 or so visitors a month to the site?

As for who wins the part on Private, my money is on Nicole. Whoever it is, they’ve already been chosen and have been shooting the series this summer.

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