Kevin Smith fans will get to play a direct role in whether his comedy series “Hollyweed” moves forward.
The filmmaker behind classic comedies like “Clerks” and “Mallrats” has partnered with Rivit TV to release the pilot for the series that Smith filmed in 2016. Rivit TV aims to enable established creators to connect directly to their fans to watch a free pilot and choose what they are willing to pay for a full season, ultimately determining whether the show is greenlit to go into production.
“Two years ago we shot a pilot for a show called ‘Hollyweed’ and tried to take it out the traditional way but had no luck,” Smith said. “Cut to now, and we get to bring it back to life. Thanks to the good folks at Rivit TV, we raised it from the dead, it’s crazy. Rivit TV was smart enough to take this show and leave it up to my fans.”
“Hollyweed” will be Rivit TV’s inaugural pilot and is now available at the rivittv.com. Smith stars in the series in his first major speaking role alongisde “Chappelle’s Show” alum Donnell Rawlings. It also features Ralph Garman, who co-hosts the weekly podcast “Hollywood Babble-On” with Smith, Adam Brody, who appeared in Smith’s films “Yoga Hosers” and “Cop Out,” and frequent Smith collaborator Jason Mewes. The show follows two potheads navigating the ups and downs of managing a small pot shop in their quest for profits and the perfect bud. Smith wrote and directed the pilot in addition to starring.
Smith will serve as showrunner along with longtime collaborating producers Jordan Monsanto and Liz Destro.
“This platform allows our industry’s top creators like Kevin Smith to focus on passion projects that resonate with their fans without worrying about a committee of executives or advertisers,” said Marcus Wiley, chief content officer at Rivit TV. “Our goal is to directly connect creators with their fans, liberate the creative process and invite the audience to greenlight shows from their favorite storytellers.”
Rivit TV pilots are free. Fans can sample the show and choose to bring the season to life by setting a price and sharing it with their friends to encourage their participation. There is a 45-day period when fans select the per-episode price (from $1.99 to $5.99) they would be willing to pay to get the season made. The higher the price point chosen, the fewer the amount of people who are needed to greenlight the season. More people participating lowers the price and everyone is charged the same lowest price. The season is greenlit at the end of the 45-day timeframe, or when the price-per-episode reaches $1.99. Only then are credit cards charged. There is no charge if the season is not greenlit. Episodes of the new season will begin releasing weekly, approximately 75-90 days after the end of the pricing period.
Wiley heads up original content programming for Rivit TV. He was previously co-head of comedy development at Fox Broadcasting Company. Robin Zucker, Rivit TV’s chief marketing officer, was previously SVP of marketing at Playboy Enterprises and head of social marketing for Yahoo. Steve Adler, chief technology officer, was the head of mobile technology for the NFL where he developed the NFL mobile app and digital video delivery for the entire NFL Digital Media Group. Ross Cox, chief product officer, is an Emmy award-winning digital product and gaming executive whose background includes stints at NBC Entertainment and Cartoon Network/Adult Swim.