DreamWorks Animation digital unit in talks with cable network for TV adaptation, eyes summer 2014 launch for season 3
AwesomenessTV will premiere the second season of teen-centric musical drama “Side Effects” on its new Apple iOS mobile app before doling out episodes weekly on YouTube, and the DreamWorks Animation-owned company also is in talks with a cable network on a TV adaption.
AwesomenessTV debuted “Side Effects,” co-produced and co-financed with Universal Cable Prods., as a single 40-minute special on YouTube last October. The segment, featuring covers of pop songs, generated 2.5 million views in its first seven days, which if it had been on television would have garnered the No. 2 spot in the 12-17 demo for Nielsen ratings that week, according to Brian Robbins, AwesomenessTV’s founder and CEO.
For the second season, AwesomenessTV is making the full series available on the iOS app Tuesday, and will release on YouTube it as four episodes weekly on Thursdays beginning May 15 (the first three about 10 minutes and the fourth about 17 minutes). The idea is to drive users to download the mobile app, which was published on the iTunes App Store last week.
“We wanted to give our really loyal fans something special,” Robbins said.
Seasons two and three of “Side Effects” were shot at the same time, and the third run is slated to debut later this summer, Robbins said.
In addition, according to Robbins, AwesomenessTV is in talks with a cable network (which he declined to identify) for an episodic TV version of “Side Effects.” UCP and AwesomenessTV also plan to distribute the show to international TV nets, electronic sell-through platforms and VOD.
The show’s format is similar to Fox’s “Glee,” with the cast performing renditions of popular songs. “Side Effects” is told from the perspective of 16-year-old Whitney Connolly (Meg DeLacy), who experiences medicine-induced musical hallucinations as she struggles with her mother’s death and her father’s disappearance. In the second season, the Connelly kids hit the road to find out what has happened to their dad.
Guest appearances in season two of “Side Effects” include YouTube stars Grace Helbig (ItsGrace) and GloZell (GloZell1), as well as TV thesps Gracie Dzienny (“Supah Ninjas”) and Mikey Roe (“Feed the Beast,” “Foodiculous”). Returning cast includes Chester See, Lulu Antariksa, Cade Canon Ball, Finn Roberts, Keli Price and Lia Marie Johnson.
Featured music includes covers of Anna Kendrick’s “Cups,” Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound” and One Direction’s “Kiss You,” as well as a new original song, “Boom Boom.” The soundtrack is distributed by Universal Music Group and will be available for purchase digitally.
“Side Effects” exec producers are Robbins, Joe Davola, Shauna Phelan, Chester See and Allison Schroeder (“Mean Girls 2″ and “90210″), who also wrote the show. “Side Effects” is directed by Matt Stawski (Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You”).
Watch the “Side Effects” season two teaser: