Vuguru is an independent multi-platform studio headed by Michael Eisner, the former CEO of Disney. They work with new and established talent to develop scripted projects that can be released as ‘chapters’ on the web. Their latest project is Greetings From Home, a family comedy about the trials and tribulations of a military family with dad raising two teens while mom is deployed overseas. It is distributed by AOL.
Warner Premiere specializes in the development and production of both features and digital content. Digital series produced by Warner Premiere include “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”, H+, and “Aim High.” They are one of the first major studios to invest serious money in web series.
Electus is a successful television and digital production company that has boasted development deals with NBC, ABC, MTV, VH1, Facebook, Yahoo! and AOL. In addition to their television shows, they are currently producing content for their three YouTube channels: LOUD (reality and comedy shows featuring celebrities and YouTube stars), NuevOn (bi-lingual Hispanic pop culture), and HUNGRY (a food network).
Sony Digital Studio produces web series that they feature on their site Crackle.com under ORIGINALS. Their shows include Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars getting Coffee and the crime drama web series The Bannen Way.
Funny Or Die is known for their sketch comedy. If a sketch gets a few million views, they’re likely to make another. And another. And another, using the same format and characters. Episodic “Show Within a Show” series Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifanakis won a Streamy Award in 2010. Their reality/dramatization series Drunk History won a Webby.
Machinima- Machinima.com is an online entertainment network for video gamers. It publishes game focused editorials and content including several video game themed web series.
YouTube, owned by Google, began funding original channels in 2011. Now they have invested over $300 million dolled out to about 160 original content producers and will be deciding who will be getting another round of funding based on ratings. Youtube also presented itself to advertisers at the 2012 upfronts as an alternative to traditional television. Here’s a link to the 169 Channels they currently fund: Youtube Original Channels. The channels are the ones actually funding and producing content. Could your web series idea find a home at one of these?
Fishbowl Worldwide Media is an independent production company mainly focused on reality TV. They are responsible for the hit YouTube video clip series CuteWinFail, the Yahoo reality series Ultimate Proposal, and have started production on a scripted animated series called The Potts about a family trying to get on…. reality TV. David Beebe is the general manager of their digital studio.
Netflix has several original series on the way. Their first series was Lilyhammer, a Norweigen-American production. Coming at the end of 2012 is “House of Cards“, a political drama starring Kevin Spacey based on a British miniseries, followed by Orange is the New Black,” and Hemlock Grove, a horror series based on the book by Brian McGreevy.
Hulu – Hulu has been bringing international content to viewers for a while that would never make it on regular American television. Ever seen a 1/2 hour drama on TV? Didn’t think so. But Hulu brought us two 5 episode seasons of the Canadian show The Booth at the End. Now that they’ve broken down format barriars for the American eye, the are moving forward with their own original programming. Scripted political dramedy Battleground joins their lineup along with numerous reality and review shows.