CW Orders Series From Its Digital Studio (EXCLUSIVE)

CW Orders Series From Its Digital

CW Seed has sprouted.

A Web series produced by the broadcast net’s digital studio will graduate to primetime for the first time this summer. The CW has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of “Backpackers,” which follows a pair of twentysomething friends on their misadventures traveling the world.

With a mandate to increase the number of original programs on its sked year-round, the netlet started CW Seed last year partly in hopes that its output would yield properties promising enough to elevate to on-air status without going the traditional development route, according to Rick Haskins, executive VP of marketing and digital programs at CW.

While “Backpackers” wasn’t actually CW Seed’s most-watched series, the network realized early on that its story had a broader-based appeal than others and would translate well to TV. The Web series will be reconstituted into the first four episodes; six more episodes were shot that haven’t yet been seen online.

“Rather than shooting a pilot for millions of dollars, this is a way of developing for much less and testing whether it works,” said Haskins, who isn’t quite ready to pull a Kevin Reilly and declare the end of pilot season. “This is still a side department.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 17

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. I hope that soon the CW will announce that Husbands is coming to air. There so much more story for the character of the show that I’m dying to see. It’s so entertaining and the writing is amazing. Brad Bell and Jane Espenson have created a master piece. It would be a shame to for CW to not let the characters tell more of their story. Husbands should be on tv. The fan base is there, there awards to back it up that the critics love it, what more is CW looking for?

  2. Mary-f-n-lee says:

    I’m glad Backpackers got picked up and Husbands didn’t. Said no one ever. Jesus Christ CW. Grow a vagina.

  3. xof1013 says:

    Husbands is one of the best comedies I’ve seen in years. It’s hilarious. It’s SMART. It’s the most highly praised series online of its kind – bar none! Not to mention multi-award winning. And it has a loyal fanbase. People who have devoted their energy, times – and at times, even their own money – to its support. Not only do I think seeing Husbands on broadcast is a MUST; I think it’s well earned. It’s my hope that the CW Network knows the value of this collaboration and makes Husbands a part of its lineup.

  4. Daryn says:

    I don’t usually post comments but after seeing one of the best shows NOT listed for the new season but this silly same old stuff show was, I felt I MUST get involved and ask directly! CW PLEASE pick up “HUSBANDS” for your lineup! It is not only VERY FUNNY, has an excellent AWARD WINNING writing team and AWARD WINNING acting team behind it but is a groundbreaking topic that we as a society are definitely ready for! What better way to open people’s minds and change their opinions then through laughter! Let’s join together and show CW and society we are ready for this topic to be covered and we are ready for a high quality, hilarious and relevant show to hit the networks! THANK YOU!

  5. Ryan Liberty says:

    I don’t watch CW now, but if Husbands were there you can bet I’d start!

  6. Tash says:

    Husbands needs to be on TV! What a fantastic, show. This backpackers looks sexist and haven’t we got enough of that already?

  7. nic says:

    I think that once upon a time season 3 should be shown in uk and the series ‘husbands’ should get a 4th series

  8. Paffi says:

    Obviously Husbands needs to be on tv so if some uninteresting crap about two backpacking and slightly sexist dudes gets picked up then come on, Husbands need to at least be next. It has Jane Espenson, it already has a fan base that will surly grow once it’s on the air.

  9. Patrick says:

    If this award season has taught us anything it’s that husbands most definitely deserves to be on tv. It’s a fantastic, hilarious, moving and most importantly different! So please CW put it on your channel. As a bisexual man I’d love to see a show like husbands on the tv as there is nothing like it on nor has there been and it desperately needs it. So please come to your senses and put it on our tv screens so everyone can enjoy husbands. And for a very selfish reason so I can enjoy husbands. Thank you.

  10. Arielle says:

    Husbands should be on the CW because it’s a risk-taker of a show, but also something that millions would tune in for. IT’s important to the LGBT community and we need a show like this on the air!

  11. Uriel says:

    Oh Husbands is surely deserving too. If the CW is considering other options then it would get my vote. Highly watchable, and filled to the brim with wit and repartee. Jane Espenson and Brad Bell have, quite rightly, won so many awards for their show, and I am certain the audience is already out there waiting for it’s network debut.

  12. cocoabash says:

    Wow, really CW? This was the series you ordered? You know, I’ve always been upset about your lack of diversity, but this is the lowest of the low. Husbands should be made a series yesterday, I don’t know how many times I have to blog about it, tweet about it, and Facebook it to make this clear to you all. Diversity in abundance aside, it’s unprecedented in really positive and forward thinking ways. Also, this is and the overwhelmingly hetero and Christian history based shows are how I can tell that this network is run by a bunch of old white guys who are so out of touch they don’t even realize they’re leaving money on the table by refusing represent a large majority of their viewers. I’m not watching anymore of your programming until Husbands is a series. Pray to God I don’t come for you with a fan movement. I’m 24, I’m multiethnic, Tisch trained, and well educated CW. You do not want to get on my bad side.

  13. I’m a straight dad in his mid-30s, who backpacks, and although I’ve seen promos for Backpackers it has never interested me in the slightest. CW should be launching Husbands. That show is the funniest web series going, with the kind of cultural cache that CW should be all over. Joss Whedon as a guest star? Jon Cryer? Jane Espenson, an Buffy/BSG/OUAT writer all over the scripts? This broad demo guy wants to see that on TV.

    • jon says:

      Hey Backpacking Dad & CocoaBash – you don’t think that Husbands may have been a tad too expensive for CW broadcast? Yeah.

      • Uriel says:

        I think Husbands is handsomely mounted, but expensive? Surely other CW shows are more costly to produce.

      • cocoabash says:

        First off, thank you for being so courteous on the internet! I appreciate that your point wasn’t aggressive. Honestly, I don’t know what the numbers are but considering how Jane Espenson and Brad Bell did it on such a tiny budget so well before it even got picked up, that’s probably not the issue. They don’t even have to have an sfx department or special makeup like most of the other shows on the CW. Then there’s the fact that the more representation people see on a show of themselves, the more money they’ll throw at it. Plus, their demo is 18-34. Who are they really going to upset in that age group? I pointed out in one of my fan support videos that they’re almost all online reading/writing slashfic and buying Yaoi.

More Digital News from Variety