Comic actor Seth Green has partnered with the Web video firm Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG) to launch ControlTV, an ambitious new reality series which will allow viewers to make a series of life decisions for a young 20-something man.
The idea behind the series is to marry the Web’s crowd sourcing phenomenon and its interactive capabilities with live entertainment. Starting this October ControlTV will follow its young male subject for six weeks, during which viewers will be encouraged to vote on a myriad of decisions—ranging from what he should eat to who he should date—which the man will then go through with.
Viewers will be able to watch ControlTV live at a yet to be determined Web site, where they can immediately vote to direct the show’s Truman Show-esque subject in real time. According to Rick Kleczkowski, DBG’s COO, viewers will be able to watch the show’s subject roughly 18 hours a day, seven days a week—with the number of audience-voting occasions varying by the day.
In addition, DBG will produce a daily ControlTV Webisode featuring edited highlights from that day’s events, which will be distributed across multiple male-oriented sites represented by DBG. At the conclusion of those daily Webisodes viewers will have another opportunity to vote and influence the show’s subject’s actions during the following day.
Kleczkowski sees those aspects of the show as providing ControlTV with breakout audience potential. “This is innovation at its best in terms of leveraging the digital experience,” he said. “The interactive component is what really hits it out the park here.”
To get ControlTV off the ground, Green (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Austin Powers) has recruited an impressive lineup of production partners, including Matthew Senreich—one of the brains behind Green’s Cartoon Network's series Robot Chicken--Richard Saperstein, former president of Dimension Films, Bachelor and Bachelorette director Ken Fuchs, as well as the commercial director Stephen Kessler.
Meanwhile DBG is handling both distribution and ad sales for ControlTV. Already, the company has lined up Ford Motor Company and Sprint Nextel as sponsors who are set to receive the branded entertainment treatment. For example, during episodes of ControlTV, the show’s subject will be seen driving 2011 Ford Fiesta and using Sprint’s new HTC EVOtm 4G phone.
“There is an opportunity for brands to have extended dialogue with consumers,” said Kleczkowski.