Web Genius or Content Thief? Tosh.0 Nabs 4m Viewers An Episode

Comedy Central's 'Tosh.0', hosted by comedian Daniel Tosh, is attracting four million viewers per episode, with content that's curated in large part from the Web.

According to the LA Times, “Comedy Central might be the first TV network to make money from the Internet.” Their latest hit television show ‘Tosh.0’, hosted by comedian Daniel Tosh, is attracting four million viewers per episode, with content that’s curated in large part from the Web.

If you haven’t seen the show before, the ‘Tosh.0’ website describes it as “a weekly topical series that delves into all aspects of the Internet, featuring razor sharp humor and biting commentary from comedian Daniel Tosh.” Segments feature the Video Breakdown, in which Tosh gives commentary on ridiculous viral videos (mostly FAIL vidoes with people embarrassing themselves; Web Redemption, in which people who have been embarrassed in viral videos get the chance to take a do-over and redeem themselves; and 20 Seconds On The Clock, in which Tosh gets 20 seconds to make as many funny comments as possible about a web video. For a taste of the show, check out the following 20 Seconds On The Clock segment, featuring the Baby Preacher viral video.

Tosh.0 (APOLOGIES TO THOSE LIVING OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES! We wish we could get you a video that worked in your region but content companies just haven’t got their act together.)
Tags: Tosh.0 Videos,Daniel Tosh,Web Redemption

As you can tell from the above clip, ‘Tosh.0’ is pretty ripe with potty humor, which is a problem for some advertisers according to Meg James of the LA Times. James writes, “‘Tosh.0’ has done so well that it has been attracting more men in the coveted 18- to 34-year-old demographic as the most successful comedy on NBC, ‘The Office.’ Still, all young male audiences to not appeal to advertisers equally. Despite its success, Comedy Central has been unable to charge the same premium ad rates as NBC does because, despite the show’s popularity, it lacks prestige and is frequently full of bathroom humor.” Lucky for Comedy Central the show only costs $400,000 per episode to make.

Because ‘Tosh.0’ is so focused on the Internet, it’s only appropriate that the show has a large online presence, including a popular blog, which is up and running around the clock, even during the show’s off season. The executive VP of digital media at MTV Networks Entertainment, Erik Flannigan, told Meg James that, “The show had to live online. It’s a blog at its core. This is a show about the Web. And we had to make sure that whatever we posted had instant credibility on the Web.” Tosh.0 also has a variety of Web producers on staff who write code and upload video, while also being involved in meetings with the show’s writers in preparation for the show. Daniel Tosh and the show’s producers are also avid on Twitter, especially during the broadcasts each Tuesday night on Comedy Central and the show has more than 4.2 million “likes” on Facebook.

Thanks to Tosh.0’s full immersion in the Web, not just as a show about Web content, but as an online buzz influencer, blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking about content similar in nature to that of the show, they have become a whole lot more successful than other shows that tried to piggyback off the Web (that means you, $#*! My Dad Says). I also think that television shows that aren’t about the Web and Internet culture can learn a thing or two from Tosh.0’s treatment of social media and the Internet as well. These days everybody is online (and many of people are online while they are watching television). By blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking to build a buzz, television shows can reach their viewers where they hang out when they aren’t watching television.

What do you think of the way which Daniel Tosh and Comedy Central leveraged online video to create a hit television show? And are you a fan of Tosh.0? Personally, I think it’s pretty funny (despite the fact that I’m not a 70-year old boy) and I can’t wait to see Phil Davison get his Web Redemption! How ’bout you?

Tosh.0 (APOLOGIES TO THOSE LIVING OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES! We wish we could get you a video that worked in your region but content companies just haven’t got their act together.)
Tags: Tosh.0 Videos,Daniel Tosh,Web Redemption