Web video is maturing, with original programming coming to online content companies. Following hot on the heels of the likes of Netflix, Yahoo! is getting into the original programming game with Electric City.
Tom Hanks has had a series in mind for many years, but he’s been waiting for the right opportunity to get it out to the public. That opportunity has now arrived thanks to the Internet.
According to the Associated Press, Electric City will premiere on Yahoo! in the spring. There will be 20 episodes, each 3- to 4-minutes long, of the animated series which taps into social issues.
Gary Goetzman, co-founder of Playtone, Hanks’ production company, said, “It was always our intent to have this project live and breathe online, and we felt Yahoo! would be the perfect home.”
Yahoo! has been upping its original content, but Electric City represents its first foray into scripted programming.
Original Web Video
Electric City is just the latest in a line of original programming being produced by and/or exclusively for online video channels.
As we have previously reported, Netflix is producing House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey, Lilyhammer starring Steven Van Zandt, and new episodes of Arrested Development, the cult comedy show canceled by the networks due to a lack of audience.
As Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch points out, this is beginning to look like a trend at this point, with 2012 likely to be the year that Web video matures. Come 2013 this could be more like a tsunami, assuming this year’s productions work out.
Whether Electric City is any good or not doesn’t matter. Well, I’m sure it does to those involved and to Yahoo!, which has probably paid a lot of money to secure the program. But to the rest of us all that matters is that original programming is coming to the Web in a big way.
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