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Dick Clark Productions has joined with Tubefilter to produce The Streamy Awards, a two-year-old Internet entertainment awards show that has gotten off to a bumpy start, but which they hope can ramp up into an annual entertainment and awards franchise for television and online distribution.
“The Internet has become truly a mainstream medium,” says Ariel Elazar, DCP’s vp of digital distribution and brand licensing. “It has now reached the connecting point where the number of shows, the size of the audience and the cash being generated is impressive. That is why we think it is time for a mainstream show to reward participants.”
Elazar insists this is not an attempt to beef up the Dick Clark roster of awards shows in case the company loses the Golden Globe Awards, which are the subject of a legal battle. “The mandate of our production company is we develop and produce shows,” says Elazar. “We are always looking to add another show or special to our roster.”
The Streamy Awards were created in 2009 by then one-year-old start up Tubefilter, which is financed and owned by Marc Hustvedt and Drew Baldwiin, who merged it with another online site owned by Joshua Cohen. Hustvedt and Baldwiin are based in Los Angeles while Cohen is based in New York.
Hustvedt said in 2008 they were instrumental in creating another start up organization The International Academy of Web Television, which became their partner in The Streamy Awards program. However, after the second show in April 2010, which was held in downtown Los Angeles – and interrupted by a streaker — the International Academy of Web Television and Tubefilter went separate ways.
Baldwin said that the International Academy wanted to focus on a show that recognized the online industry and web programming, while they wanted more of an entertainment show with broader appeal that would crossover from the web to a wider audience. “For two years we produced an independent awards show,” says Baldwin. “We feel it has finally reached a tipping point where it is more in the mainstream.”
So Tubefilter has now made a deal with DCP to develop the show so that it can work for a wider audience. Hustvedt, Baldwiin and DCP declined to say how long their deal runs or any of the terms.
“We believe in the (Internet) space,” says Elazar, “and that the programming and the personalities have really become mainstream.”
The plan is to create a Blue Ribbon panel of people from online and the Hollywood entertainment industry who will help determine the nominees and winners, along with votes cast by the public over the Internet. They see it as an opportuntity to create a very interactive event with the public participating in the nominations, final awards selection and in other ways.
Some awards will go to shows created specifically for the Internet and broadcast online, while others will honor content created for web sites associated with TV shows, movies or other programming.
The 2010 Streamys, which were carried on Streamys.com as well as some other sites, and portions of which were on YouTube and elsewhere, included more than two dozen categories that fell under the headings overall series, performance, directing, writing and craft awards.
The winner of Best comedy web series was Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis, who was also named best male actor in a comedy web series. The winner of best drama web series was The Bannen Way, while Best ensemble cast in a web series went to Easy To Assemble, with a cast that included Justine Bateman, Tom Arnold, Kevin Pollak and Illeana Douglas.
Now the categories are all going to be re-thought, according to Hustvedt and Baldwin, to make them even broader and more accessible to a mainstream audience.
Elazar said DCP will package the show concept which he compared to the Academy of Country Music Awards and the American Music Awards, both of which DCP produces. However, he said because it is not a music show there will not be the same amount of performance. They do expect to bring in well known personalities and stars as part of the show.
DCP will begin to approach broadcast and cable networks later this year seeking a platform for what they expect will become an annual show. If they don’t get a major network, the show could launch online.
In addition to The Streamys, Tubefilter.tv is a web site with news from the online entertainment world. The group also produces panel and networking events in Los Angeles and New York. One is scheduled in Los Angeles for next week.
Baldwin said he feels he is carrying on a tradition started by his grandfather, Bob Finkel, who was a director and producer of TV awards shows beginning in the 1950s including the early Emmys, Golden Globes, Academy Awards, Miss Universe and numerous entertainment shows.
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