Canwest announced today that they’re picking up a half hour comedy series based on the web series Pure Pwnage (pronounced “pure ownage”). Pure Pwnage the web series is about 4 years old and according to the Canwest press release they get about 200,000 unique visitors a month.
Pure Pwnage will appeal to fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Flight of the Conchords and those who have an appreciation for Internet and gaming culture. The series follows Jeremy (Jarett Cale) a modern day, 26 year old gamer version of Larry David. His unfortunate lack of social experience constantly has him bumping up against reality. A child of the Internet, no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t relate to the ”˜real world’. After he is given an ultimatum from his mother to get a job or get out of the basement, Jeremy must leave the gaming world and join society again. Hilarity ensues as the series sees Jeremy start his own rock band, become a video game tutor and attempt to socialize with his co-workers at a grocery store.
“It’s a thrill to be working with a group of up and comers who are already so successful in the digital universe. With a legion of fans already addicted to Pure Pwnage, this smart and ridiculously fun web series will make a smooth transition to television and is perfect for Showcase” said Christine Shipton, SVP Dramatic and Factual Content, Canwest Broadcasting. “The site has a fanatical following and Showcase viewers are going to love these hilarious and eccentric characters.”
“We’re thankful to Showcase for giving us the opportunity to take Pure Pwnage to the next level. We’ve enjoyed amazing success on the Internet and are very excited to bring our popular characters to the TV platform”, said Jarett Cale, co-creator, writer and producer. “We are honoured to be the first in Canada to bring gaming and Internet satire to television. We can’t wait to see Showcase viewers embrace the wacky and hilarious Pure Pwnage world”, said Geoff Lapaire, co-creator, writer and producer.
This is a pretty interesting development. We’ve seen web series get picked up by TV before, but the notable cases — QuarterLife and Sanctuary — were created by experienced televison writer/showrunners. Pwnage the web series is the product of Jarrett Cale and Jeff Lapaire, a couple of 20-somethings, who don’t have prior TV experience. This is a true web series crossing over to TV.
I blogged about Pure Pwnage back in September over on the Story2.OH blog. I was amazed at how quickly the series had gone from amateurish to slick. It’s worth noting that the most recent episode was uploaded about a year ago. Two seasons have been posted in all — 12 episodes in season 1 and another 6 in season 2, plus a half dozen “shorts”. I’ve got episode 1 of season 2 embedded below for your consideration.
For the tv version of the series Derek Harvey is showrunning and Cale, Lapaire and Mark Steinberg are slated to write. Maybe we can get them out to WWTV this spring to tell us about the experience and show us the work. I can’t wait to see how this works.