Kevin McCollum aims to grow 'Submissions Only'
Rialto vet Kevin McCollum has jumped aboard as a producing partner of the behind-the-Broadway-scenes comedy Web series “Submissions Only,” kicking in coin for its upcoming third season and hoping to shepherd the skein to bigger and better platforms with an eye toward the format’s TV potential.
The series, which had a six-seg debut season and an eight-episode second season, follows two friends, an actress (Kate Wetherhead) and a casting director (Colin Hanlon), struggling to make it in the theater industry, with a lot of the action centered around the audition room. Wetherhead, who was in the cast of musical “Legally Blonde,” co-created the show with Andrew Keenan-Bolger, currently appearing as an actor in Main Stem tuner “Newsies.”
“Submissions Only” has gained something of a following among New York legit types, with the show attracting 50,000-70,000 eyeballs (according to McCollum’s estimates) thanks in part to a roster of guest stars including Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kristin Chenoweth, Nick Jonas, Michael Urie and Rachel Dratch.
Budget for the third season was initially raised through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that saw almost 900 people pony up a total of about $60,000 (some $10,000 more than the $50,000 goal). McCollum, the Broadway producer (“Rent,” “Avenue Q,” “In the Heights”) whose next project is incoming musical “Motown,” first contributed through Kickstarter before opting to chip in more as a producing partner.
The full extent of the financing remains to be set, but the producer guesses the third season, an eight-episode run that will be upgraded to HD, will cost around $25,000 per seg. The series is also working with SAG for this round of episodes and will begin to incorporate exterior locations as well.
McCollum envisions shifting “Submissions Only” to a possible exclusive streaming deal with a big-name site such as Hulu or Netflix, as well as a potential move to TV, all with the goal of finding a way to grow the show’s aud and monetize the property in a way the creator-producers haven’t so far.
Production of season three of “Submissions Only” is now under way, with a launch date still to be set.