The Summer of OTT Resurrection

The Mindy Project
Last summer, NBC cult favorite TV show “Community” was effectively resuscitated by the Yahoo! Screen Over-the-Top (OTT) service. In current times, it seems that when a show is in danger of cancellation, or it definitively receives the axe, loyal fans flood social media in an attempt to get it revived, but not by a television network – instead it’s usually a call for an OTT business to take the reins.

Immediately, the devoted masses clamor for a streaming service to pick up the imperiled programming.

This year, quite a few shows have seen success in this regard from a variety of different OTT companies.

“The Mindy Project,” a three-season staple of FOX, was canceled back in May because renewing it “didn’t make good business sense,” according to network CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman.

Hulu was quick to snap up the comedy for a fourth season by the end of that month.

Creator and star Mindy Kaling was pumped to talk about the freedom of working on OTT.

“We decided we want people who tuned into the show to tune in for two reasons: because we're doing things we couldn’t do on network TV, but also not giving up what people love,” Kaling said at BookCon in New York. “I think we are gonna push the envelope in ways we haven’t been able to, which is great.”

TeenNick recently canceled high school drama “Degrassi” after 14 seasons.

In June, Netflix announced it would be picking up the show for 2016 as “Degrassi: Next Class.”

“With ad-supported TV, ratings are at the top of the list and in some cases dictate creative decisions,” executive producer Stephen Stohn told Variety. “We have more creative freedom with Netflix… With Netflix we’re just encouraged to tell the stories we want to tell.”

Linda Schuyler, co-creator of “Degrassi,” also raved about the OTT service.

We are where the kids are,” Schuyler said in an interview with VICE. “Traditional broadcasters have trouble with this demographic. With us partnering with Netflix worldwide, we can reach kids wherever they are and not on some schedule. It's so exciting and so refreshing.

And at the end of July, Amazon jumped into the show salvage arena as well.

CBS declined to pick up “Sneaky Pete,” a pilot about a conman written and produced by Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame.

The online retailer has placed the pilot on Amazon Prime Instant Video and will be receiving feedback from viewers, which will influence whether or not the show receives additional episodes.

“Our customers have provided valuable feedback on our shows and have helped make them some of the most critically-acclaimed series,” said Roy Price, Vice President of Amazon Studios in a press release. “Sneaky Pete could be among those shows and I look forward to seeing our customer feedback.”

OTT services are seemingly the go-to source for rescuing jeopardized network shows. With three of the major providers participating in this process during these past few months, it’s likely to become a commonality with each season.

Author: Brian Cameron

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