Futon Media today announced the start of production on “.comEDY,” a three-part web series/backdoor TV pilot set to premiere this summer. The half-hour project revolves around the assorted socially inept workers at a fledgling dot-com in the late 1990s, a time when “tweet” referred to birds, “blog” was a typo and “google” dealt with numbers.
Mike Mariano (MY NAME IS EARL) is directing the project, which was written by Brian Ford Sullivan, Editor-In-Chief of TheFutonCritic.com and CEO of Futon Media. “The years leading up to the millennium were a transformative time in our culture – whether it be economically, politically or, well… geekily,” said Sullivan. “As someone who was on the front lines of the dot-com bubble bursting, I’ve always been struck by how outrageous the circumstances surrounding it were. We literally spent more time talking about ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ opening and ‘Babylon 5’ ending than doing actual work, all while Rome was figuratively burning around us. Somehow nobody wanted to point out this wasn’t a correct way to make money.”
“.comEDY” is set at E-sthetic, a fictional internet services company in the Silicon Valley. Tyler Francavilla (ROOMMATES) stars as Davis, a Midwestern transplant who finds his first day there anything but normal. He’s called a heretic after his proudly religious cube-mate Christian (Amad Jackson, GAY ROBOT) sees the action figures on display at his desk; his co-workers Edgar (rising comedian Paul Reese) and Fareed (Amir Talai, HAROLD & KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY) put him in the middle of their escalating war over user permissions, company policies and who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Science Fiction; and he’s the latest target of Handsome Rob (Teddy Sears, RAISING THE BAR), the department’s overly affectionate coordinator.
Davis however finds kindred spirits in his boss, Spike (Kevin Weisman, ALIAS), whose tattooed arms and relaxed nature beguile a brilliant mind and manager; and his project manager, Jessica (Jessica Collins, BIG SHOTS), who proves to be an improbable mix of beauty, brains and science-fiction knowledge. Together they must brace for the upcoming storm that is their IPO, an event that could make or break their company. That, and whether or not George Lucas will destroy their childhood when “The Phantom Menace” opens in six months.
The launch of “.comEDY” this summer is tied to the opening of TheFutonCritic.com’s Video section, which will feature a compilation of links to full episodes, webisodes and the like in the same style of its popular Listings section. Added Sullivan, “A large portion of our audiences lives and breathes by our ‘What’s New Tonight?’ and ‘When Does (Insert Show) Come Back?’ sections, so it only makes sense to give them access to the same kind of information about when their favorite shows are posted on iTunes, Hulu and so forth each day.”
“.comEDY” is a Futon Media production with the company’s Brian Ford Sullivan and Matt Fix serving as executive producers. Frank Zanca and Tim Ryder are producing via their Big Smiley Entertainment banner. Mike Mariano is the director.