Sony’s Crackle Internet-streaming service revealed its upcoming slate of programming for 2015-16, highlighting its first hour-long scripted drama, “The Art of More,” and first animated comedy, “SuperMansion,” from Bryan Cranston.
“The Art of More,” starring Dennis Quaid, is written and exec produced by Gardner Stern (“Las Vegas,” “Law and Order”) and Chuck Rose. Stop-motion animated “SuperMansion” (pictured above) comes from Cranston’s Moon Shot shingle, with the “Breaking Bad” thesp voicing the title character.
In addition, Crackle set a July 16 premiere date for David Spade-starrer “Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser,” which was previously announced, touted as the first made-for-digital sequel to a major motion picture. The service also announced the pickup of a feature-length sequel to zombie thriller “Dead Rising: Watchtower” from Legendary Digital.
Crackle, a unit of Sony Pictures Television, called its presentation Tuesday in New York an “upfront,” angling to position itself in front of TV ad buyers rather than getting put in the “digital” category. Previously, Crackle participated in the Digital Content NewFronts series, which kick off this year April 27. Separately, Sony’s PlayStation Network will be presenting at the NewFronts.
The event featured a spiel from Jerry Seinfeld, star and producer of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” the service’s most popular series which returns for a sixth season in June. He quipped that working with Crackle is exactly what men want in a pair of briefs: “A little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.”
Seinfeld also took a shot at user-generated content. When asked about the place of UGC, he said, “The less the better” — and called YouTube “a giant garbage can.” Said the comic, “I like being on the top of the pyramid.” (It’s worth noting that YouTube hosts plenty of professionally produced content, of which Jerry appears unaware.)
Other featured cast members of Crackle’s originals on hand were Quaid, Spade, Kate Bosworth, Christian Cooke, Seth Green and Brittany Daniel.
Crackle — which is free to watch in 21 countries, across multiple connected devices — also debuted what it dubbed an “Always On” experience, aiming to replicate the experience of watching TV. With the new feature, a scheduled program immediately begins playing when a user launches Crackle accompanied by a channel guide to browse other content. “Always On,” powered by Adobe’s Primetime platform, will debut on Roku in May followed by other devices throughout the summer.
“At Crackle, we are reimagining ad-supported TV,” said Eric Berger, Crackle G.M. and exec VP of digital networks for Sony Pictures Television. “With compelling programming and an innovative new viewing experience, Crackle is the perfect combination of linear television and on demand that provides advertisers with additive solutions that capitalize on the best of both worlds.”
Unmentioned in Crackle’s presentation: “Tightrope,” a crime-noir parody from Cranston that it announced at the 2014 NewFronts. (Reps for Crackle and Cranston previously claimed the series is still in the works.) Meanwhile, another project Crackle highlighted at the NewFronts last year, season four of action-thriller series “Chosen,” has been pushed to 2016.
Here’s a breakdown of Crackle’s upfront slate:
New Series and Movies
“The Art of More”: 10 episodes, scheduled to premiere winter 2015
Description: Drama starring Dennis Quaid (“Vegas,” “Any Given Sunday”) about the cutthroat world of premium auction houses. Co-starring Christian Cooke (“Magic City”) and Kate Bosworth (“Still Alice.” Written and exec produced by Gardner Stern and Chuck Rose, and exec produced by Quaid, Laurence Mark and Gary Fleder (“Runaway Jury,” “The Shield”).
“Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser”: Scheduled to premiere July 16
Description: In the sequel to the original 2001 comedy, David Spade (“Rules of Engagement”) returns as the mullet-wearing, rock-and-roll loving white-trash-hero who embarks on another epic journey, this time the heartland of America — and back in time, to the 1960s. Co-starring Christopher Walken, Brittany Daniel, Dennis Miller, Adam Beach, Patrick Warburton, Mark McGrath, Charlotte McKinney and Kevin Farley. Directed, written and produced by Fred Wolf (“Joe Dirt,” “Grown Ups”). Spade also writes and produces. Produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Prods. and Lifeboat Prods.
“SuperMansion”: 13 episodes scheduled to premiere fall 2015
Description: Cranston voices the character of Titanium Rex, who leads a “seen-better-days” group of superheroes, The League of Freedom, in their increasingly difficult struggle to remain relevant in today’s world. Also voiced by Seth Green (“Family Guy”), Keegan-Michael Key (“Key and Peele”) and Jillian Bell (“Workaholics”). Written and exec produced by Matthew Senreich and Zeb Wells (“Robot Chicken”); exec produced by Cranston, Green, John Harvatine, Eric Towner, James Degus and Moon Shot Ent.; and produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.
“Dead Rising” (working title): Slated to premiere spring 2016
Description: Sequel to the “Dead Rising: Watchtower,” which takes place during a large-scale zombie outbreak when a mandatory government vaccine fails to stop the infection from spreading. Based on the worldwide hit video game franchise. Exec produced by Tomas Harlan, Tim Carter and Lorenzo di Bonaventura; produced by Legendary Digital.
“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”: Season six (6 episodes) scheduled to premiere June 4
Description: With more than 100 million streams viewed of the series to date, season six will feature Seinfeld cruising around and drinking coffee with Bill Maher (“Real Time with Bill Maher”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”), Steve Harvey (“The Steve Harvey Show”), Stephen Colbert (“The Colbert Report”), Trevor Noah (“The Daily Show”) and Jim Carrey (“Dumb and Dumber To”). Sponsored by Acura. Exec produced by Jerry Seinfeld and Embassy Row.
“Sports Jeopardy!”: New episodes debut weekly on Wednesdays
Description: Game show hosted by sportscaster Dan Patrick (“The Dan Patrick Show”) is a spinoff of Sony Pictures’ “Jeopardy!” Exec produced by Harry Friedman and Sony Pictures Television.
Series in Development
“Capo”: No release date
Description: Drama series about a mobster who emerges from prison into a world where his once-strong organized-crime syndicate has eroded. “Capo” takes a look at what it would take for a modern crime organization to rise today. Produced by Relativity Television and Hollywood Gang Prods. Exec produced by Tom Forman, Andrew Marcus, Ray Ricord, Gianni Nunnari and Shannon Gaulding.
“Chosen”: Season four (10 episodes) to premiere winter 2016
Description: Action-thriller series, switching to a one-hour (from a 30-minute) format, continues the story of Ian Mitchell (Milo Ventimiglia) and his family, with the forthcoming delving deeper into the deadly game the Mitchells were swept into and following the lives of others who also received mysterious boxes forcing them to kill – or else. Exec produced by Ventimiglia (“Heroes”), Ben Ketai (“30 Days of Night: Dark Days”), Ryan Lewis (“High School,” “Fat Kid Rules the World”) and Russ Cundiff.