Created by (and starring) Toronto-based Geoff Lapaire, and Jarett Cale via their ROFLMAO Productions outfit, the series dates its first episode back to May of 2004. The series now boasts over 200,000 monthly viewers, and a very active fan base that has roped in even our reviewer.
Cale stars as 25 year-old Jeremy (aka the_pwnerer), a socially challenged full-time gamer living in his mom’s basement spending most of his time ‘pwning noobs’ online. Lapaire, who directs the series, plays his younger brother Kyle. The success of the series has even spawned spin-off web series for the show’s regulars, including Dave Lee’s Pro At Cooking.
The team headed down to Comic-Con last month to promote the series and sell the show’s popular merchandise which has become a lucrative business for them. The deal at the time was only hinted at as “Project X” until they posted the video (above) revealing the news.
I asked Lapaire about the announcement, and he said they are excited about the leap to TV. For now the web series is on hold while they focus on the TV version, Lapaire told me. But outside Canada, particularly in the US which is their largest fanbase, the TV series will hopefully be available on iTunes for download. .”We are hoping that there will be enough interest in the US to convince someone to pick up the show there,” said Lapaire. “The US is by far our largest fan base.”
Asking him how the deal came about, it sounds like nothing beats a little in person face time. “A studio executive came to one of our live screenings at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto and was completely blown away,” he added. “About 600 fans showed up to watch that particular episode, and the energy at our live screenings is always mind blowing.”
Showcase, which is owned by CW Media, airs a number of US and British TV series like Rescue Me, Weeds, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as well as a handful of original series. For the upcoming TV run, Showcase had the following description of Pwnage’s new story arc:
The series, which premieres in 2010, finds Jeremy at a crossroads: if he is to maintain residence in his mother’s basement, then he’ll need to get a job — and getting a job means stepping out of the gaming world and back into reality. With that in mind, Jeremy starts his own rock band, becomes a video game tutor, and attempts to socialize with his co-workers at a grocery store.
Top photo by Daniel Alexander.