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Forget ‘Veronica Mars,’ The Real Kickstarter Surprise is ‘Lizzie Bennet’

Forget 'Veronica Mars,' The Real Kickstarter Surprise is 'Lizzie Bennet'

Soon after the Kickstarter campaign for “Veronica Mars” sparked a ton of conversations and debates, another woman-led project took the crowdfunding site by storm, raising its $60,000 goal soon after it launched.

The team behind “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” a YouTube-based adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice,” have
already raised $430,000 and counting, mainly by selling a DVD of the
complete series (There are currently a few hours to go on the Kickstarter campaign, which can be found here). Funds from the sales will go toward a new Austen
adaptation, “Welcome to Sanditon,” based on the author’s unfinished “Sanditon.”

READ MORE: Experiencing ‘Girls’ Withdrawal? Here are the 14 Best Female-Centered Web Series

Where did “Lizzie Bennet” come
from? Out of view of the mainstream media, the web series has racked up
an impressive 180,000 YouTube subscribers, enough so that, right
before DECA came in to take part-ownership of the show, it was self-sustaining (revenue paid for production).

DECA is a media company that provides programming for women across platforms.  According to a Gigaom report on the series, the DECA deal with “Lizzie Bennet” allows DECA to take over the administrative aspects of the show.  DECA co-owns the series and has a deal that ties them to future endeavors from the “Lizzie Bennet” producers. 

course, nothing could be more mainstream than Jane Austen. How did they
do it? By telling a traditional story untraditionally. Like 2006’s lonelygirl15, “Lizzie Bennetstarted slow, taking its time with key plot points.
This built up anticipation for how the series would handle plot points
Austen fans knew were coming, like keeping William Darcy offscreen until
#darcyday and hyping their first encounter with aplomb. The writer,
Bernie Su (“Compulsions”), also modernized some story lines, like
making Collins ask Lizzie to join a startup, rather than his hand in
marriage. The result is one of the most fan-driven web series since its predecessor in lonelygirl15.

The success of Lizzie Bennet” signals
the possible maturation of women’s programming in web video. Even as
advertisers and networks continue to see online as a way to reach young
male viewers, producers like “Lizzie Bennet”‘s Hank Green and Bernie Su, now with the help of DECA, have been proving how women, particularly young women, respond to web originals as well.

READ MORE: Don’t Know Which Web Series to Watch? Here are the Best of 2012.

Watch the first episodes of “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” below:

Bryce J. Renninger contributed reporting to this story.

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j lov

wow. i am amazed to read the comments and see that people thought it was a pretty good webseries. i couldn't watch more the two minutes of it without cringing so badly i had to stop.
i loved the book, the movies and good adaptations of it.
this was painful.


This was a magnificant web series. The cast was so entertaining and amazing actors. So excited for Sandition because the actress who plays GiGi Darcy (Allison Paige) is such a brilliant actress and also so beautiful to look at!!!! Can't wait

Carl W.Goss

It was a good show. I would like to have seen separate actors for the roles of Eliz. Bennet's parents. I like JA and can't wait to see what they do with Sanditon. Persuasion might work. Emma would work great. Mansfield Park? Maybe.

Los Angeles


But fans of Veronica Mars grossed a million in less than 24 hours baby


What a great picture of Ashley in the header *derp*


bernie su was "a writer" (and showrunner) not "the writer" of lizzie bennet. and i don't know if you can call it "a woman-led project." yes, the main character is female, but the two exec producers, as with v mars, are men. sounds misleading.


As a fan, I can say that I'm proud of what this show has achieved thanks to the hard work of everyone involved. So it makes me awfully glad that the Kickstarter proceedings will be used to compensate the cast and crew, in addition to funding future adaptations. Because if it weren't for Lizzie's success, I doubt future projects would be possible. So yay LBD! You rock! :)


"Particularly young women"? I'm 54 and never missed a post of the LBD. I think your demographics need an update.


I watched the whole thing from the beginning as it was posted and it's pretty good. They managed to transfer the story well, develop the characters interestingly, and actually make the story seem rather new and accesible.

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