Nearly a year after its resurrection, maniaTV is diving back into original Web video with a slate of new series planned for 2010.
The company, which shut down operations last spring only to be revived by original founder Drew Massey, is going back to its roots in entertainment and celebrity programming (in the past maniaTV has featured live talk shows hosted by former MTV regular Tom Green and rocker Dave Navarro).
Starting this summer the site will roll out at least three new original series, including Celebrity Rush, a weekly celebrity interview series with a young male frat brother sensibility (it will be taped live on a college campus). That show, which is being hosted by veteran broadcaster Jerry Penacoli, is scheduled to debut in August.
Along those same lines is Wee-man’s Wrecked, a ten episode series set for this summer featuring Jackass star Jason Acuna.
Also in the works is a live standup comedy series Comedy Club Live, which will feature a mix of upcoming and known talent, said Massey. Individual episodes will be hosted by celebrity comics such as Jamie Kennedy.
Besides those greenlit shows, maniaTV is developing several original concepts, including “the Next Tony Hawk” action sports show, as well as an untitled college-set game show and a handful of other celebrity oriented projects. Plus, new seasons of both Green and Navarro’s talk shows are due later this year.
To better monetize all this new content, maniaTV has dramatically expanded its national sales staff, said Massey. The company now has a sales presence in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas and Atlanta. “We’re investing in our team as we’re believers in original programming online being the future of youth culture entertainment”, he said.
Lastly, Massey announced that the revitalized maniaTV has also landed several well known names from the media and advertising worlds to serve on its board of directors. New board members include former NBC Entertainment chief Warren Littlefield and
Ad agency veteran David Verklin, CEO of Canoe Ventures.