Mark Cuban’s HDNet has picked up Goodnight Burbank, a rare instance of an online series moving to television. The critically acclaimed series will debut Oct. 12 on the cable network.
Sources close to the deal report that HDnet acquired the exclusive TV rights in North America and Canada to air the first series of Goodnight Burbank, six 30-minute episodes, although terms were not disclosed. Writer, producer and star Hayden Black retains all intellectual property rights and has plans to optimize its value with mobile apps, sell-through video and other products.
The series began as five minute webisodes in 2006. Black told Digital Media Wire that even though he always dreamed of it being on television, he never could have achieved that goal without its Internet roots.
“It’s taken such an odd journey that’s been so educational that I’m glad it went the way it did,” Black said. “I’d never written six half-hour episodes of anything before – or ran a half hour sitcom – so I think the evolution Goodnight Burbank took from five minutes in 2006 to a half-hour in 2011 was perfect. Had it taken longer, that would have been just as perfect because that would just have meant it needed more incubation time.”
The series is an affectionate satire of California regional newscasts with a cast that includes Laura Silverman, Dominic Monaghan, Miracle Laurie and Camden Toy in addition to Black. Among its guest stars have been John Barrowman and Juliet Landau.
Zodiak Rights handled the deal for Black’s Haydenism Inc. in a story that reads like a Hollywood fairy tale. “We debuted on Hulu on April 25th, 2011 and apparently Mark Cuban was watching. Not sure why. Pure chance, I think,” Black wrote on his blog. “He had his people contact me the very next morning at 9 a.m. on April 26th, 2011 asking if they could acquire the series.”
Tubefilter – http://tinyurl.com/3sdnfxy
Hollywood Reporter – http://tinyurl.com/3haw9wc
Apologies for cropping out some cast members for space, photo courtesy of Hayden Black