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5 Daily Tech Stories That Filmmakers (and Film Fans) Must Read: Crackle Debuts Originals Line-Up, SyFy OK’s First Digital Series and More

5 Daily Tech Stories That Filmmakers (and Film Fans) Must Read: Crackle Debuts Originals Line-Up, SyFy OK's First Digital Series and More

1. Crackle: At the Digital Content NewFronts in New York City earlier today, Crackle debuted their programming slate, which includes both new and returning series. An impressive roster of talent participated in the announcement, including actors Bryan Cranston and sportscaster Dan Patrick. Cranston will return to comedy in the Crackle detective series “Tightrope,” while Patrick will host “Sports Jeopardy.” Among the returning series is Jerry Seinfeld’s beloved, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which will release 12 new episodes — five in the early summer and seven in the fall. For the full list of shows and their descriptions, refer to the end of this article: 

2. SyFy: The network has given a 10-episode order to its first digital series. “Underlings” is workplace comedy that examines the office politics at a criminal organization. Check out the exclusive sneak peek on The Hollywood Reporter.

3. Digital Movie Sales: Sure they are up 43% from first quarter last year. But as Variety notes, the $330.25 million in electronic sell-through (EST) pales in comparison to the billions that studios have made off of DVD and Blu-Ray sales before the home video market effectively collapsed in on itself. 

4. Digital TV Series: Want to get your project made? Well make sure the idea is for a series, not a feature. From the perspective of the studio — whether it be a traditional network like NBC, a cable outlet like HBO, or a streaming service like Netflix — the consensus across the board is that producing a series is not nearly as risky as producing a feature. Variety spoke to industry executives in both traditional television and digital space, as well as creatives who have managed to successfully leverage their digital series idea.

5. MGM/Comcast Digital Distribution Deal: Comcast will be distributing films from the MGM library via their Xfinity On Demand platform. MGM is following the example of many of the major Hollywood Studios — 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, MGM, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers included — by partnering with Comcast on digital distribution for both its previously released and upcoming titles. According to Variety, MGM’s 2014 reboot of RoboCop will debut online May 20th.

Crackle’s original programming line-up is listed below:

“SEQUESTERED”

12 episode Series Scheduled to Premiere on Crackle in August

A sophisticated, intense thriller, starring Jesse Bradford (BRING IT ON), Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), Patrick Warburton (“Rules of Engagement”),  and Bruce Davison (X-MEN) about a jury sequestered in a hotel while deliberating a court case with massive implications. Series is produced by Lifeboat Productions and created by Aaron Tracy.

“SPORTS JEOPARDY!”

Game Show Series Scheduled to Air Weekly on Crackle for 52 Weeks

“Sports Jeopardy!,” which will be hosted by the Emmy®-Award winning sportscaster Dan Patrick, is a spinoff of Sony Pictures’ record Emmy®-Award winning hit game show. “Sports Jeopardy!” will be unique in its level of interactivity, allowing viewers to download a mobile application that will interact with the show as a second screen application to unlock new clues.

“THE THROWAWAYS”

Feature Film Scheduled to Premiere this Winter, 90 Minutes

Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield (THE HURT LOCKER, THE TOWN) executive produces this suspenseful thriller about a notorious hacker captured by the CIA who is given a proposition to work for them or spend the rest of his life in prison.

“TIGHTROPE”

Comedy Series

Emmy®-Award winner Bryan Cranston returns to his comedic roots to executive produce this series that will replace a character from a classic detective series with a modern-day actor. The show juxtaposes the modern character, with irreverent comic sensibilities and also with older characters from another era to reshape the stories into contemporary comedy. 

“COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE,” SEASON 4

Comedy Series, 5 episodes, Scheduled to Premiere in Early Summer

Back for a fourth season, the Emmy® nominated series created, written and produced by Jerry Seinfeld, will feature guests including Aziz Ansari, Jon Stewart, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Klein and George Wallace.  Sponsored by Acura.

“COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE,” SEASON 5

Comedy Series, 7 episodes, Scheduled to Premiere in the Fall

Special comedian guests to be announced soon.  Sponsored by Acura.

“CHOSEN,” SEASON 4

Action/Thriller Series

The fourth season of the critically-acclaimed series is set to begin development. The series is executive produced by Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff alongside creators Ben Ketai (30 DAYS OF NIGHT: DARK DAYS) and Ryan Lewis (HIGH SCHOOL, FAT KID RULES THE WORLD), and written by Evan Charnov (LOST BOYS: THE THIRST) and Ben Ketai.

“PLAYING IT FORWARD”

Music Documentary Series

The special street performance-style reality series is produced by Team Downey, an entertainment company founded by Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey, alongside veteran music producer/composer Tony Berg and Kevin Lake. The “Playing It Forward” music movement will showcase surprise street performances by some of the world’s biggest artists in unplanned, unexpected environments across the country benefiting music education and charities of the artists’ choice.  

“CLEANERS,” SEASON 2

Action/Thriller Series, 12 episodes

The second season will return with stars Emmanuelle Chriqui (“Entourage”), Emily Osment (“Hannah Montana”), Gina Gershon (“Rescue Me”)and David Arquette (SCREAM), with new characters played by Esai Morales (“Criminal Minds”), Omar Avila (“Justified”), David Rees Snell(“Last Resort”), John Savage (“Dark Angel”), and Mimi Rogers (“Two and a Half Men”). Written and directed by Paul Leyden (THE FACTORY) with executive producers Sam Worthington (AVATAR), ChriquiJohn Schwarz (“McLeod’s Daughters”), Michael Schwarz (OLIVER TWIST) andLuca Scalisi (EMINEM: LIVE FROM NEW YORK CITY). Paul Leyden and Anne Clements also serve as executive producers. The second season premieres in August with 12 all-new episodes uncovering secrets, lies and ulterior motives.

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