Keep Calm and TV On: Photo humor mega-site The Chive is getting into the original series game. The self-described “Best Site in the World” with a passionate college following has wrapped production on its first scripted online series. In addition, Rush Hour director Brett Ratner is signing onto the site’s board of advisors to help with the company’s TV initiative.
Chive TV is initially launching to consumers on Roku starting Wednesday and the company is also targeting bar and restaurant owners, promising eye-catching content that “keeps butts in barstools longer.” The Chive TV content is farmed from the site, offering the brand’s signature sexy-funny-inspiring photo galleries and the humor videos. The site’s typically press-adverse founders, John and Leo Resig, claim they’ve already conquered the online comedy space (with 30 million monthly unique visitors) and have been quietly working for two years to make this jump into the competitive streaming TV space.
The first scripted series is an as-yet-untitled comedy that’s like NBC’s The Office yet set in The Chive’s own Austin-based headquarters.
“Everybody wants to work at The Chive, it’s an adult playground, and as I searched for an idea for a series I kept coming back to my employees,” said John Resig, who also played the recurring character of Deputy Kevin Ellis on HBO’s True Blood. “They’re all such unique personalities, basically unemployable elsewhere. The idea was to create an office comedy where all of my employees play themselves in the actual roles they occupy at The Chive. But it’s scripted. They’re not actors but somehow it works.”
The project’s announcement trailer is here, Chive TV is available now, and the first scripted series launches this fall.