USA Network Experiments with Ad Sales, VOD in ‘Playing House’ Renewal

USA Network has renewed comedy “Playing House” for a second season, turning the show into an experiment for new windowing and ad sales strategies.

USA said that episodes of “Playing House” would be available via cable VOD and authenticated on-demand platforms before they air on USA’s linear network. NBCUniversal ad sales chief Linda Yaccarino said the network would experiment with premium ad placements spread across those services to harness the small but passionate fan base for the femme buddy comedy written by and starring Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham.

“Playing House” had a modestly-rated run of 10 episodes this past spring. USA’s decision to renew “Playing House” is a sign that networks are trying to find ways to capitalize on shows that generate outsize traction in social media. St. Clair and Parham have developed a following among alternative comedy fans for their past TV and improv efforts. But a renewal of the show seemed doubtful earlier this year based on ratings.

“With the new season of ‘Playing House,’ we really wanted to give marketers an opportunity to truly follow our video content wherever and whenever the consumer experiences it,” said Yaccarino. “This is a special show in that Jessica, Lennon and the producers will collaborate with our clients to develop custom content in and around the series with this distribution model in mind, as the season develops. It is a prime opportunity for brands to maximize their messaging on different platforms to this highly engaged audience.”

The series revolves around two best friends who are raising a child together after one of them gets divorced and the other leaves her high-powered career to return to their hometown in Connecticut. St. Clair and Parham exec produce with Ravi Nandan and Scot Armstrong for Universal Cable Prods.

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