Husbands has drawn more than a million viewers on YouTube, and two of its actors earned Streamys nominations this past year. “Husbands has been a critically-acclaimed, user-friendly YouTube series for two seasons,” said Rick Haskins, EVP of marketing and digital programs at CW. “By bringing that to the CW, we hope to bring new fans over to the network and to CW broadcast shows as well.”
The CW previous employed a similar strategy with Prom Queen, Vuguru’s popular high school murder mystery. After seeing it draw a large audience elsewhere, CW Digital brought the series’ most recent installment, Prom Queen: Homecoming, to its platform alongside old episodes.
In addition to bringing in critically acclaimed web series, CW Digital is also digging in to some original projects of its own. The studio’s first original production, Stupid Hype, debuted late last year. New projects are on the way, with Stupid Hype serving as a model. Just as that show’s star, Wilson Bethel, migrated from a CW television series (Hart of Dixie) to one of the network’s web series, future online productions will feature actors from CW staples like Smallville, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural.
By snapping up Husbands and continuing its own web efforts, The CW is proving that, more than any other major network, it is paying close attention to the online space, keeping close tabs on what works and giving space to the ‘Net’s notable showrunners. Go Cheeks Go!