Jason ‘Jace’ Hall is an avid gamer, well known in gaming circles, at one point heading up production of a number of Warner Bros. video game titles like The Matrix Online, F.E.A.R., Condemned: Criminal Origins, 300: March to Glory and Justice League Heroes. After shifting gears into producing for TV and the web, Hall founded HDFilms in 2007, and with it bowing his own hosted web series, The Jace Hall Show.
Originally the series found a home on Sony’s Crackle, which netted a reported 8 million views for the upstart network through its two season run. Now, heading into its third season, The Jace Hall Show has inked an exclusive distribution deal with gaming-heavy content site IGN. The new six-week season—see the trailer above—will debut January 29th.
IGN is a natural fit for the gaming focused series, and with its not-to-shabby 25 million monthly visitors (global), there’s a sizable audience of 18-34 males ready to tune in. The site is also a network itself, with broad syndication deals in place, including a YouTube channel that cranks out around 15 million streams per month and deals with Xbox Live, Yahoo!, Hulu and MySpace.
“We are re-inventing very concept of the ‘television talk show’ and ‘sit-com’ with every episode and we aim it straight at the gamer and internet youth audiences. IGN knows these audiences better than anyone, making it a perfect fit for The Jace Hall Show,” Hall noted. “Gamer culture has infiltrated society and in partnering with IGN we will be able to represent more of the raw nature of the gaming and internet lifestyle and showcase some of the hilarious moments and exclusives we’ve been able to capture.”
The pickup for IGN is part of a broader plan to lure in more than its already strong “core gamer” base of visitors, trying instead to push into more mainstream audiences. With Hall’s series, which interviews, (or sometimes just hangs out with) gamer-friendly celebs like Felica Day, Ice-T, Stan Lee and James Gunn. The pseudo-reality of the show, think Curb Your Enthusiasm, spins a entertaining take on what goes on behind the walls of the video game world and Hollywood’s obsession with it.
New this season is the addition of Hot For Words star Marina Orlova, who joins the weekly show replacing character actor Gary Graham, aka: “Smoking Jacket Guy.” There’s also a renewal of the real-life rivalry between Jace Hall and Felicia Day, something that spawned out of Hall’s less-than-stellar attempts to interview her on the show. It ended up carrying over afterwards into Hall pulling some strings at World of Warcraft maker Billzard, and pranking Day by killing her WoW character over and over. This of course led to some retaliation on Day’s part that involved an office caper at HDFilms that angered Hall.
The show’s producer Todd Roy tells us that this season it will all get settled, “Jedi style,” between the two rivals. Sticking on that theme, there’s more scores to be settled this season. “The coolest thing for me, being an 80’s kid, was we have Dolph Lungren and Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed!) getting together for the first time since Rocky IV,” said Roy, promising some heated action. Also on deck is a trip to World of Warcraft mecca Blizzard HQ.
Photo credit: The Bui Brothers