There’s a well-trodden notion in Hollywood that pitching an industry show is a tough sell. Too inside, too exclusive. Good thing for longtime talent agent Jay Bloomberg, he’s not exactly what you’d call inside. In fact, Mr 10% sets up shop at his local Coffee Bean.
The show stars Billy Riback as the venerable Jay Bloomberg, the “Willy Loman of agents,” as Asner likes to call him. A former Hollywood player, Bloomberg once represented great animal talents in their prime (Flipper and Gentle Ben). Years later he’s on a quest to get back to at least the ‘middle’ of the power ranks.
I caught up with the show’s creators Matthew Asner and Danny Gold of Mod 3 Productions, TV and film veterans who are venturing for the first time into episodic web television. Originally shopping the project as a network pilot, the show has found a happy home as a short-form web series. Two episodes into the first season the show is just starting to gather some heat.
“This is the most fun we’ve had shooting a project,” noted Gold, lamenting on the freedom of working outside the confines of a traditional TV studio. “It’s a sandbox for us,” he beamed, giving them the chance to try casting a non-traditional actor (Riback) in the lead role.
Riback himself is a writer and producer, most notably as an Emmy-nominated producer on Home Improvement. Producers Asner and Gold actually approached Riback to collaborate on the project as a writer/producer, but quickly realized they had found their Bloomberg. “When the glove fits,” said Asner, “we knew we had him and he was a natural at it.” Gold added, “it’s always nice to find a punching bag that doesn’t mind being punched.”
Episode 3 comes out on Tuesday (Aug. 12 on the Web TV Schedule), and guests stars the hilarious Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Studio 60) playing himself as a would-be client to the struggling agent. The producers are shooting more episodes this month and are aiming to extend the debut season into the fall. We’re promised a lineup of celeb cameos, most of which we can’t yet divulge, but let’s just say there will be a few tabloid faves in the mix.