News broke last week that famed director and experienced comedian Kevin Smith would be making his way back to the small screen with a new project, which came as very good news for fans who were bummed that his AMC show got the axe. When Smith announced that his long-awaited Hollyweed project was finally happening, he didn't reveal where or when viewers could expect to see it. Now, as it turns out, Hollyweed is already available to viewers, and it's up to them to decide whether or not it deserves the green light thanks to audience powered television. Here's how it works.
A new platform called Rivit TV will be the very first television platform powered by the audience and running without commercial breaks. The format of the platform will allow fans to greenlight new original TV series. Fans can view the pilot on Rivit TV's website, then will be asked how much there are willing to pay for a full season. The level of interest from fans determines whether or not a given project gets the go-ahead for production of a full season. Rivit TV aims to showcase established creators and give them the opportunity to connect right to their fans. TV viewers will have the power to choose what they do and do not want on the small screen.
Given that Rivit TV is only just starting out, I'd say they're likely to get off to a strong start with Kevin Smith producing and starring in the debut pilot. In the platform's first pilot, viewers can watch Kevin Smith in what will be his first major scripted speaking role. Also starring is Smith's frequent screen partner Jason Mewes along with Donnell Rawlings, Adam Brody, and Ralph Garman, Hollyweed follows a pair of potheads as they work to manage a small business, all in pursuit of profit and the right kind of pot.
Basically, Hollyweed sounds like the perfect show for anybody who enjoys Kevin Smith's other projects. Smith, who has spent the last several months moving on from a near-fatal heart attack, is finally bringing Hollyweed to an audience two years after the pilot was shot. When Smith was unable to strike a deal with a traditional network to host the show, the project went on the back-burner. Rivit TV is evidently the ideal platform for Smith to reach out to viewers and possibly get a season order out of it.
Watching the Hollyweed pilot (and all future Rivit pilots) will be absolutely free on Rivit TV, and users have 45 days to choose how much they would pay per episode, with a range of $1.99-$5.99. The higher the price from a certain amount of users, the fewer users are required to weigh in for a project to get a season order. More participants means a lower price, however, and a season will get the greenlight when a pilot wins an average price-per-episode of $1.99 or the 45 days run out. If you want to keep watching, this is when you have to pay a fee. You won't be charged if a series is not given the go-ahead. Obviously you won't get the second episode right away; subsequent episodes following the pilot aim to release weekly, starting around 75-90 days after the pricing period ends. Could this be the next big thing when it comes to original TV shows?