AOL Eschews NewFront Season For Year-Round Original Programming

Tim Armstrong - H 2015
AP Images

Tim Armstrong - H 2015

The tech giant's online video content ranges from short, snackable content to long-form programming.

Much like former Fox chairman Kevin Reilly intended to bypass the TV pilot season, AOL's Dermot McCormack plans to do away with NewFront season. 

The president of AOL Studios and Video announced the ambitious plan at the company's NewFront presentation in New York on Tuesday evening, revealing that the company will develop shows year-round.

As if to prove that point, the slate of programming that McCormack and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong touted in front of ad buyers included several series that have already launched on the online portal. They include satirical weekly live news series The HuffPost Show, sports news show 2 Point Lead and docuseries Journey to the Draft, which premiered earlier that day. 

AOL has also renewed two series for second season, Park Bench with Steve Buscemi and Making a Scene with James Franco

In its second season, Making a Scene will focus on TV shows instead of films. Franco told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the presentation that it will create a whole new dynamic for the show, which asks fans to submit their favorite scenes and then mashes them up with new genres and characters. "The way people relate to TV shows is different than they do to movies and characters on movies," he said. "But we're mashing up what the fans have brought us. We're not criticizing these scenes as much as trying to make sense of them." 

He added that the show format worked well because it created a new dynamic to people's favorite scenes. "I didn't even know that it would be funny," he continued. "I jut thought it would be weird. It ended up being funny so we thought, 'let's try it again.'" 



Of course, McCormack did have a few cards to play on Tuesday evening, unveiling plans for several new series. They include Rising Artists, which will showcase new bands before they become big, Beyond the Horizon with Jared Leto, which will feature interviews with the world's top innovators and Act Like a Musician, which will place well-known actors in the bands of their dreams. 

AOL has also ordered two series in partnership with Derek Jeter's The Players' Tribune: The Thursday Sports Show with Ben Lyons and How it Happened, which will tell behind-the-scenes stories from great sports moments. 

AOL-owned The Huffington Post, meanwhile, introduced a slate of 11 new shows, including docu-series Now What with Ryan Duffy, short film series The HuffPost 10 and unscripted Fabulous Stay-at-Home Dads