How Hulu's 'The Yard' used its cast to help promote the show

By Natan Edelsburg Comment

Hulu has launched another great show. The Yard, which just posted its season finale on the online video network, is a hilarious mockumentary about the politics, cliques and rumblings of a middle school yard in a Canadian public school. The Sopranos meets the fifth grade, if you will. We spoke with Executive Producer Frank Siracusa about the launch and success of the show.

From HBO Canada to Hulu:

The Yard’s birth into the US market was very interesting. The show aired originally on HBO Canada and then via Siracusa’s distribution partner ended up on Hulu in the U.S. Hilariously, Siracusa explained that “critical acclaim in Canada comes from an echo of critical acclaim in America.” Only once the show was green lit for the U.S. did Canadians begin to embrace the show further.

Hulu’s looking more and more like a cable network:

Hulu originals continue to gain traction and grow. We’ve covered both Battleground and Leap Year, two shows that are helping Hulu look more and more like a linear cable channel. While reviews in the U.S. have been good for The Yard, not many people know about it. We can’t even find more than one tweet mentioning the show on Hulu’s official handle.

Star Quintin Colantoni’s TV roots:

The most entertainment part about the mockumentary is the lead star Quintin Colantoni who plays Nick. Siracusa described how it took his production company, Whizbang Films over eight months to land their lead. “You can imagine, that there are no resumes you could comb through,” he told Lost Remote describing how hard it is to find talented young actors. “We had about fifteen photographs and tape spread around the table and in came a friend, Rico Colantoni, who’s in Flashpoint and Just Shoot Me,” he reminisced. “I said, Rico we’re having a very difficult time, he said my son acts, we put his son on tape and his son was the lead of the show, Nick.”

The future TV actors of the world are natural social TV marketers:

We asked him about the role social media played in the development and growth of the show. “I have teenagers and young adults at home,” Siracusa explained. “I learn from them on how to best reach an audience – as an example, when we finished making The Yard, we turned to the 14 years olds who populated the show, [and told them] you have to reach out to everyone you know,” he added. He continued to explain that “they started posting themselves on YouTube, talking about their show and talking about their experience on the show and a lot of that went viral amongst themselves, it was natural publicity which was really good – the more interest we can garner, the more eyeballs that can go on Hulu.”