Two years after Kevin Smith made a pilot called Hollyweed, about two stoners who run a marijuna dispensary in Los Angeles, a new version of the series has found a home at fledgling streaming service Rivit TV. You can see the trailer above.
Rivit TV self-identifies as "the first audience powered, commercial-free television platform that gives fans the ability to greenlight all-new original TV series." Earlier today, they announced that the company is launching with the Hollyweed pilot, which will be produced by, and starring iconic filmmaker and comedian Kevin Smith. Rivit TV enables established creators to connect directly to their fans to watch a free pilot and choose what they are willing to pay for a full season, ultimately determining whether the show is greenlit to go into production.
“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,” said Smith. “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.”
The platform essentially provides fans with a free look at a TV series' pilot, then allows them to name their price for future episodes. If enough money is pledged to make continuing the series viable, the series continues.
“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, said Marcus Wiley, Chief Content Officer at Rivit TV.“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.”
HOLLYWEED, identified as "a stoner workplace comedy starring Kevin Smith in his first major speaking role," is now streaming for free on RivitTV.com. Following two potheads navigating the ups and downs of managing a small business in their quest for profits and the perfect bud, the HOLLYWEED pilot is written and directed by Smith and also stars Donnell Rawlings, Adam Brody, Jason Mewes and Ralph Garman. Smith will serve as showrunner and Executive Produce alongside longtime collaborators Jordan Monsanto and Liz Destro.
The original pilot featured a subplot about tension between the marijuana dispensary and a cookie company, and featured Kristin Bauer van Straten as an antagonist and Frankie Shaw, who recently signed an overall deal with ABC, as a potential comic foil for Smith and company.
Here's how Rivit runs down its own business plan and management team, per their official press release:
Rivit TV pilots are always free. Fans can sample the creator’s vision and choose to bring the season to life by setting a price and sharing it with their friends to encourage their participation. 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. For more information on how Rivit TV works, click here.
Rivit TV offers fans more than just a show. While the season is being produced according to the vision of its creator(s), fans will be actively engaged with insider updates, access to the creator and behind-the-scenes content that continues through the release of the season on Rivit TV.0comments
Heading up original content programming for Rivit TV is Chief Content Officer, Marcus Wiley, who was co-head of comedy development at Fox Broadcasting Company. During this time, he was responsible for developing Bob’s Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl and The Mindy Project, amongst other series.
Rivit TV brings together a seasoned, entrepreneurial team with a strong track record. Rounding out the management team are Robin Zucker, Chief Marketing Officer, who previously served as SVP of Marketing at Playboy Enterprises and head of social marketing for Yahoo!; Steve Adler, Chief Technology Officer, who previously headed Mobile Technology for the NFL where he developed the NFL Mobile app and digital video delivery for the entire NFL Digital Media Group; and Ross Cox, Chief Product Officer, an Emmy award-winning digital product and gaming executive whose background includes stints at NBC Entertainment and Cartoon Network / Adult Swim.