While Kevin Smith was premiering his 2016 film Yoga Hosers at the Sundance Film Festival, news broke that the director/screenwriter had secretly begun filming a comedy series called “Hollyweed”. Reports stated that Smith was working on spec — meaning he wasn’t being paid for the project — and would be acting in the comedy series as well.
Enter Rivit TV, which bills itself as the “first audience powered, commercial-free television platform that gives fans the ability to greenlight all-new original TV series.” The company announced its launch Wednesday with the pilot of Smith’s “Hollyweed”.
Here’s where things get interesting: Fans can watch the “Hollyweed” pilot for free then decide if they’re willing fork over the cash for a full season. In essence, fans will determine whether the show goes into production, allowing fans to receive the exact content they want, instead of being at the mercy of what networks give them.
“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,” Smith said in a release.
Photo courtesy of HOLLYWEED/Rivit TV
So what’s “Hollyweed” about? It’s a stoner workplace comedy starring Smith in his first major speaking role and will follow two ganjapreneurs as they navigate the small-business world of the cannabis industry. The show also stars Donnell Rawlings, Adam Brody, Jason Mewes and Ralph Garman. Additionally, Smith will act as showrunner.
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According to Marcus Wiley, Chief Content Officer at Rivit TV, “This platform allows our industry’s top creators like Kevin Smith to focus on passion projects that resonate with their fans without worrying about a committee of executives or advertisers. Our goal is to directly connect creators with their fans, liberate the creative process and invite the audience to greenlight shows from their favorite storytellers.”
Here’s a quick explanation of how pricing works, according to Rivit TV:
Rivit TV pilots are always free…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
You can watch the “Hollyweed” pilot right now on Rivit TV’s website, or click here.