In a business where rejection happens to even the best series—both The Sopranos and Mad Men were passed on by multiple TV networks—one man’s cutting-room floor is another’s development trove.
With the demand for original Web video surging, former Viacom executive Matt Farber, who founded MTV Networks’ Logo channel, has launched DoubleBounce, a company that plans to take passed over cable TV series pilots, along with shows from the U.K. and Canada, and repurpose them as Web series. The company has lined up deals with 16 production companies, including Super Delicious (Food Network’s Cupcake Wars), September Films (TLC’s Mall Cops: Mall of America), and Pie Town (HGTV’s House Hunters).
On the distribution side, DoubleBounce has already found several takers, including Evolve Media and Metacafe. In addition, both NBCUniversal and Omnicom’s OMD are discussing potential projects. DoubleBounce’s current library includes mostly lifestyle shows covering topics like parenting, health, home, and food; among the series available at the moment are Mommy Minutes, featuring former Good Morning America correspondent Laurie Gelman, and The Spachelor (The Dating Game meets Top Chef). Farber says the strategy is to amass a Web database of reclaimed shows that clients can parse by demo and genre.
“These series have often already been tested and developed, and some have talent attached,” says Farber. “So distributors and brands don’t have a major upfront investment.” But what about the inevitable knock that DoubleBounce’s content holdings is a sort of island of misfit shows? “I haven’t run into that sentiment at all,” he says.