Chernin Group Renews Transmedia Reality Series ‘@SummerBreak’

/ Mar 11, 2014

summer web series

[email protected],” a social-media reality series developed by The Chernin Group, is coming back for a second season later this year.

The show follows a group of high-school seniors on their last summer vacation before college. Think of it as an MTV-style reality series about kids in California, except all of the content is produced for and available on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. The first season of the show generated more than 644 million views/hits across all of the content produced for or in association with the show, with at least show clips generating more than 15 million views last summer.

Now, Chernin Group is looking to bring the show back, likely with an all-new cast of teenagers, according to Variety. The entertainment/investment firm produces the show with ad agency BBDO and brand sponsor AT&T. Per the report, the trio are also bringing on Astronauts Wanted, a production company led by former MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath, as a creative and production partner for the series. [email protected] creator and executive producer Billy Parks, who developed his show when he was at Chernin, is now with Astronauts Wanted and will remain involved with the project.

The new season will be similar to the previous one, in that it will require a production team that follows the day-to-day lives of the teens featured in the show. So fans are not just tracking what the show’s stars are up to by following their respective social media accounts, but will get an actual look at some of the more important developments via video clips distributed on YouTube.

This requires a certain nimbleness, as Parks explained during a speech at BCon Expo last year. For instance, in terms of video, a professional crew needs to be on stand-by to document important developments as they are about to happen, and then get that content turned around within a day or two.

During the first season, the producers would repackage weekly video clips into longer episodes, which would run for 10-12 minutes. A similar strategy will likely be invoked for the second season.

Casting is underway for the second season, which will return in June, according to Variety.

There is a proven popularity to this type of social-media/transmedia content franchise. Most notably, Pemberley Digital won an Emmy for “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” a modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice.”

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