The Temp Life has kind of flown under the radar in terms of branded web series successes, but ever since it first convinced a blue-chip sponsor to back the web comedy back in mid 2006, it has trekked on steadily delivering for both its audience (over 1 million views) and its sponsor.
At first glance it portends to be quite possibly another blah-blah office comedy, but the concept is actually pretty novel, given the show’s sponsor, real-life recruiting and staffing company Spherion. Take a comical look at small off-brand temp agencies, well known to job-hopping New Yorkers, and show what could happen if you don’t end up with one of the big boys like Spherion. The fictional agency, Commodity Staffing, carves out its niche as the dredges of temp jobs—think changing crusty urinal cakes and 24/7 lifecasting of a stuck-up socialite.
So far the series has produced episodes off and on, with a total of 17 released through three seasons. Production values are arguably modest, and at this point are considerably dated in terms of newer web series. Creator Wilson Cleveland, who’s firm CJP Digital produced the series, wore most of the hats early on, serving as writer, producer and even star, playing the bungling office boss Nick “Trouble” Chiapetta. But for this newest batch of six episodes, he tells us they are stepping it up and bringing on some names we recognize from the web series scene.
Streamy-nominated writer Yuri Baranovsky (Break a Leg) has been hired to write the new episodes and The Hayley Project’s creators Andrew Park and Jato Smith will be at the helm. There’s even word that Hayley Project star Rachel Risen (also Streamy-nominated) will guest star in the new season.
“Creatively and aesthetically I’m hoping to produce a product that can stand alongside all the great Web shows Im a fan of like Dorm Life, PINK and The Guild that have come out since we started Temp Life three years ago,” said Cleveland. “I find Yuri to be a very smart, talented comedy writer,” he added when asked about the new talent. “I finally met him in person and hung out at The Streamys and we’ve gotten along ever since. I hired Andy and Jato because I’m a HUGE Hayley Project fan. Andy is a New York guy like me and we share a love for all things Buffy. These guys funded and produced a tight 35 episode series that to me, looked like a movie or TV show. I respect the hell out of that and all the other indie producers who do the same thing because they love doing it.”
Funding for the new season comes from part of a new mid-five figure upfront deal from Spherion, which is also a client of CJP. While still relatively small in the entertainment world, it’s expected that the new talent behind the camera will punch up the show. The new season will go into production next month with an anticipated release in mid November.
“Spherion has been a huge supporter of the show from day-one,” said Cleveland. “We were very lucky to have a progressive client sponsor who shared our belief that branded Web series and other digital entertainment would play an important role in the marketing communications mix. They use Temp Life as the unique brand differentiator we created it to be.”
At least half of the sponsor budget will be directed at marketing the show online through various means like Google AdWords and traditional PR, something often overlooked or unused by web series. Previous campaigns to push the series included a Spherion ad deal with Monster.com that used episodes of the show inside video ad units on Monster’s site. The series is also now part of For Your Imagination’s Axis of Comedy which was announced last year as a confab of like-minded scripted comedy series.