DCNF: PBS Digital Studios to Experiment with Bernie Su and Pemberley Digital on Scripted ‘Frankenstein’ Series

/ May 5, 2014

PBS

PBS Digital Studios is partnering with Pemberley Digital and writer-director Bernie Su to adapt Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” The show, titled “Frankenstein, MD,” will also serve as PBS Digital’s first scripted project.

Spurred on by the success of the Emmy-winning “Lizzie Bennet Diairies” and his follow-up “Emma Approved,” Su is on board to executive produce and script “Frankenstein, MD,” which will take Shelley’s classic horror story and give it a modern spin. The project will change the main character into a female named Victoria Frankenstein, and will enlist the transmedia format popularized by “Lizzie Bennet” and “Emma Approved,” said Matt Graham, senior director at PBS Digital Studios. (He also said it will be a “wild, gruesome” show.)

At the center of the project will be a YouTube channel, which will release eight episodes per month beginning this fall. On top of that will be various in-character social media accounts that allow fans to follow the story of the “obsessive, eccentric prodigy” Victoria beyond video.

“The team at Pemberley Digital is thrilled to be working with PBS Digital Studios on this exciting new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s cult classic, reimagined for today’s connected generation,” said Su in a statement. “We’re eager to take the format that we’ve cultivated with our previous multi-platform series into a new genre with a darker tone.”

The “Frankenstein” deal with PBS was brokered by David Tochterman.

Su and Pemberley Digital have made a business out of adapting popular classic novels in the public domain into a vlog-based transmedia series that live on YouTube.

That said, expect “Frankeinstein, MD” videos to be available beyond YouTube, including PBS.org and Roku, where PBS Digital Studios also distributes content to.

The project with Pemberley and Su was announced by PBS Digital Studios at its first-ever Newfront. In addition to showcasing some of its original series to the audience of advertisers, including John and Sarah Urist Green’s “The Art Assignment” and the Steve Goldbloom-hosted “Everything But the News,” PBS Digital unveiled three other new shows.

“Pancake Mountain,” a reboot of the cult musical variety show from filmmaker Scott Stuckey, will launch this summer. In the show, popular musicians join show characters for a series of sketches, musical numbers, and dance parties. The reboot will air new episodes on a weekly basis, featuring characters old and new.

Finally, in terms of new, PBS Digital Studios also announced the launch of “Bongo Bongo,” and “Food Buzz,” both of which it has produced in partnership with Magnet Media. Previously announced, “Bongo Bongo” explores the history of English-language words while “Food Buzz” gives viewers a quick take on various current food trends. Both shows launch today on their own YouTube channels.

These shows, as well as a slate of 30+ existing series, reinforced PBS Digital Studio’s value proposition of making smart, entertaining, and engaging original content.

Graham pointed to how its lineup of creators and channels consistently lead great conversations on their YouTube channels, which consistently get some of the smartest comments on the world’s biggest open video platform. “The bar’s low,” he jokingly acknowledged, “but these are really great comments.”

With that in mind, the PBS Digital plans to double-down on content and distribution. “In the next year, we’re doubling our investment in original content,” said Graham. PBS also plans to create a new destination for PBS Digital Studios content on PBS.org, while expanding content and distribution collaborations with PBS member stations.

“Other broadcasters [have seen] new platforms as competition, but we recognize them as a new opportunity to expand our mission,” said Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


carmilla-u-by-kotex

Lesbian Vampires & Kotex: How ‘Carmilla’ Became...

 
aap-rocky

MTV Labs Taps Rapper A$AP Rocky as Creative Director

 
CableCross

FCC Cancels Vote on ‘Unlock the Box’ OTT Proposal

 
lights-out-shoot-blackbox-tv-collab

Collab Signs Horror Channel BlackBoxTV to Network, Partners on...

 
Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!
 
PewDiePie 3-2-15

PewDiePie Expands Revelmode Gaming Slate with DoubleMoose Deal

 
storyful-marketplace

Storyful Launches Viral Video Marketplace

 
lyor-cohen-youtube-music

Pioneering Hip Hop Exec Lyor Cohen Joins YouTube as Global Head...

 
alpha-legendary-digital

Legendary Digital Reveals Alpha Subscription Service Launch...

 
time-inc-jash

Time Inc. Teams with Digital Comedy Producers Jash for Branded Content

 
Amazon Logo

Amazon Greenlights Three Comedy Pilots as Series

 
cartoon-network-app

How the Cartoon Network Combined the Best of VOD and Linear TV...

 
jukin-media-ethos

Jukin Media Goes Viral for Brands with Ethos Division Launch

 
Streamy Awards

Streamy Awards Trade In VH1 for YouTube, Again

 
zefr-alignment-report

Matching Ads to Videos Not So Simple, According to Zefr’s...

 
shomi

Plug Pulled on Canadian SVOD Service Shomi

 
Twitter

What’s Trending on the Twitter Sale

 
Machinima Logo

Machinima Teams with SiriusXM for Daily Esports Radio Show

 
Hearst

AwesomenessTV, Vice, Complex to Power New HearstLive...

 
dirty-30-hannah-hart-mamrie-hart-grace-helbig

VIDEO: ‘Dirty 30’ Confessions with Stars Hart,...

 
facebook-thumbs-down

Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...

 
craig-piligian-pilgrim-media-group

Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...

 
youtube-heroes-for-change

Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

 
Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...

 
jared-feldman-and-sam-hui-ph-d-at-the-2014-canvs-launch

How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...

 
marlon-wayans

Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall

 
huffpost-ryot-aol

HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...

 
youtube-vote-irl

YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation

 
tyler-oakley-camp17

How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...

 
charlie-sheen-anger-management

Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’

 
filmbuff_videoink_300x250

Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...

 
toy-freaks-youtube

Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...

 
jeffrey-tambor-transparent-amazon

Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...

 
Twitter

Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff

 
youtube-sad-face-error

Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

 
Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down

 
raised-firsts-branded-tv

Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?

 
shes-gotta-have-it

Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...

 
swedish-dicks-peter-stormare-keanue-reeves-viaplay

What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?

 
seamlessly-she-monica-potter-aol-partner-studio-gmc-acadia

How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...

 
Netflix_new

Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries