The creative team behind web-to-Showtime series “Web Therapy” is prepping the launch of digital series “Dropping the Soap,” with Lisa Kudrow and Jane Lynch serving as exec producers and Lynch starring.
Comedy from Digital Broadcasting Group is toplined by Lynch and Paul Witten and goes behind-the-scenes of faux daytime sudser “Colliding Lives” as the program struggles to stay afloat in the new era of TV. Mandy Fabian and Kate Mines are also part of the cast, and the series will debut online this spring.
Lynch, who herself is a fan of digital programming like Netflix’s “House of Cards” and Ken Marino’s “Burning Love,” dubbed the production process for “Dropping the Soap” akin to “guerrilla TV making.”
“Nobody made any money on this thing,” said Lynch about the creative team. “You don’t do it unless it’s fun. … It harkens back to the old days, and you’re doing it for the joy of creating something. The smaller the budget, the more people seem to be committed because you invest so much of yourself. It’s not about a paycheck.”
Joining Kudrow and Lynch as exec producers are Dan Bucatinsky, Don Roos and DBG’s Damon Bethel and Joseph Gomes. Bucatinsky, Roos and Kudrow have partnered on “Web Therapy,” which made a successful transition from the digital realm to broadcast TV in 2010.
While for cast members like Lynch “Soap” didn’t represent a lucrative venture, the shingle behind the show — DBG — understands that the key to monetizing a digital series like the comedy is an all-inclusive approach to platforms.
“Usually, with these types of programs, we’re looking to distribute across scores of relevant Web properties,” explained Bethel, DBG’s exec veep of strategic planning and biz development. “We’ll have an anchor site, then we’ll scale that syndication across dozens of other properties. The monetization takes place with a sponsor, and the sponsor integration — often we’ll work with one to three sponsors in a series like ‘Dropping the Soap.’”
Though DBG works to land content on digital platforms including web, mobile, tablet and VOD, shingle does not plan to launch “Soap” on YouTube.
“We’re not looking at YouTube as a distribution partner for this series right now,” Bethel added. “If we had a sponsor who felt really strongly about wanting to be on YouTube, we’d reconsider. But, currently we are not.”
DBG topper Chris Young emphasized that no matter what platform digital content lands on, it’s the quality of the programming that wins out at the end of the day.
“Our shows are platform agnostic,” said Young. “It’s all about the content and creativity … where you consume the content is, quite frankly, irrelevant.”
Nevertheless, the CEO emphasized how important it is to leverage all digital platforms in order to catch as many auds as possible in today’s “watch what I want, when I want to” era.
“The best viewing we get is driven by the quality of the creative,” Young continued. “We had 95%-100% video completion rates on ‘The Confession’ with Kiefer Sutherland. That’s because it was compelling content. Ever since the advent of programming — video or digital — the one thing that has always held constant is that regardless of the platform, the content has to resonate.”