December 1, 2005
New Models for Cancelled TV Shows

The question of off-network TV models (subscription TV, straight to DVD TV, and so on) has been really hot in the last few weeks. A few weeks ago, Lost Remote proposed a multi-part model for cancelled shows (specifically Arrested Development) which seems to be getting some press. Here are some of their suggestions for the show:

* Offer the show online and on VOD every week for free.
* Make it a free video podcast.
* Seed BitTorrent with it.
* Set up a site that has all the shows right there, along with shorter-form content, ready to watch or download in all formats.
* Have the cast blog - in character. Have them do video blogs and even live webcasts in character, too.
* After each show, have viewers comment and then address their comments. Invite the best commenters to have a guest spot on the show.
* Heck - invite fans to shoot their own fan-fic shows. Celebrate "AD" as the first open-source sitcom.

Meanwhile, a bevy of screenwriters have been discussing the possible hang-ups of an off-network model - namely the "Joss Paradox", or the fact that off-network models might work for the likes of Joss Whedon (of Firefly, Angel, and Buffy), once he's gathered a bunch of fans, but how do new creators get to the point where they can do that?