PopSugar to Debut First Scripted Series (Exclusive)

Seriously Distracted Still - H 2014
Courtesy of Seriously Distracted

Seriously Distracted Still - H 2014

Comedy 'Seriously Distracted' stars Amy Sedaris

PopSugar doesn't seem to mind if its core audience of millennial women gets a little distracted by its foray into scripted programming. 

The entertainment news and lifestyle website announced on Friday that Seriously Distracted, its first comedy web series, will debut on Oct. 21. The eight-episode series stars Amy Sedaris as JD LeGrand, the head of New York publicity firm LeGrand PR. Although the firm is one celebrity client away from making it big, LeGrand's employees are constantly distracted by their pop culture obsessions, which range from Tinder and Scandal to James Franco and SoulCycle.

Seriously Distracted is produced by Above Average, the comedy network behind web series 7 Minutes in Heaven from Saturday Night Live's Mike O'Brien. Co-starring in the series are Greta Lee (Girls), Laura Grey, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Cathryn Mudon and Russ Armstrong. Orange is the New Black's Kimiko Glenn and YouTube star Arden Rose will guest star. 

Read more New Form Incubator Unveils Slate of Digital Shorts

PopSugar Studios president David Grant tells The Hollywood Reporter that the idea for Seriously Distracted came out of conversations that PopSugar had with Above Average about creating a female-driven comedy. The show began to develop after Grant saw a video that the women of Above Average put together about how they reacted to the news of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's "conscious uncoupling." 

"We're always keeping our eyes out for things that we feel our audience will love," says Grant. "And Seriously Distracted felt right for our brand." 

PopSugar was founded in 2006 by husband-wife team Brian Sugar and Lisa Sugar, who have built it into a multi-platform media company with 25.5 million unique visitors in September. A longtime Fox executive, Grant joined PopSugar in 2009 after the company acquired his video-powered e-commerce marketplace. Along with editor-in-chief Lisa Sugar he has since taken PopSugar's video strategy from zero to more than 50 million monthly video views. Today, PopSugar has a network of YouTube channels and has studios in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York to produce its daily slate of newsy, entertainment-driven web series and video clips. 

Read more Streamy Awards: Winners List

"We really tried to create video that was engaging and relevant for our demo and our brand," he says. "It made video a core form of content for PopSugar."

Short-form scripted programming has increasingly become a focus for media companies like PopSugar. Conde Nast Entertainment's The Scene announced in August that it would be the exclusive home for web series HeyUSA and Hearst Digital Studios recently hired digital video veteran Corey Moss to expand its slate of scripted and non-scripted programming. 

Seriously Distracted, which is sponsored by fruitwater, debuts on PopSugar.com, AboveAverage.com and the YouTube channels for both companies. Subsequent episodes will roll out weekly.