Amazon Prime may have discontinued their audience-powered pilot program, but Rivit TV believes that the idea of letting the audience select what shows they want to see is still a viable enterprise.
This brand new platform is launching with a new pilot from Kevin Smith called Hollyweed, but ultimately its the viewers that will decide whether this pilot will get a series pickup. The stoner workplace comedy stars Kevin Smith in his first major speaking role. Following two potheads navigating the ups and downs of managing a small business in their quest for profits and the perfect bud, the HOLLYWEED pilot is written and directed by Smith and also stars Donnell Rawlings, Adam Brody, Jason Mewes and Ralph Garman. Smith will serve as showrunner and Executive Produce alongside longtime collaborators Jordan Monsanto and Liz Destro.
“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. 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,” said Smith.
It’s streaming now, for free on www.RivitTV.com. Fans will not only decide if this goes to series, but they’ll also decide what the episodes will cost once it’s picked up, so in a sense, it works like crowdfunding platforms. Viewers are pledging that they will pay for the program, and once the show is funded, it goes to series. 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.
While the season is being produced according to the vision of its creator(s), fans will be actively engaged with insider updates, access to the creator and behind-the-scenes content that continues through the release of the season on Rivit TV.
Heading up original content programming for Rivit TV is Chief Content Officer, Marcus Wiley, who was co-head of comedy development at Fox Broadcasting Company. During this time, he was responsible for developing Bob’s Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl and The Mindy Project, amongst other series.
Rivit TV brings together a seasoned, entrepreneurial team with a strong track record. Rounding out the management team are Robin Zucker, Chief Marketing Officer, who previously served as SVP of Marketing at Playboy Enterprises and head of social marketing for Yahoo!; Steve Adler, Chief Technology Officer, who previously headed Mobile Technology for the NFL where he developed the NFL Mobile app and digital video delivery for the entire NFL Digital Media Group; and Ross Cox, Chief Product Officer, an Emmy award-winning digital product and gaming executive whose background includes stints at NBC Entertainment and Cartoon Network / Adult Swim.