The CW has decided to bring digital series Backpackers to the network this summer. The comedy — about a pair of best friends (Noah Reid and Dillon Casey) who are racing across Europe — had been part of the CW Seed online video service.
The first four episodes of Backpackers on The CW will contain material previously released online. The remaining six episodes will be written and produced for the network airings.
Here’s the CW press release:
CW SEED’S “BACKPACKERS” BECOMES THE NETWORK’S FIRST DIGITAL SERIES TO MAKE LEAP FROM ONLINE TO ON-AIR, WITH BRAND NEW EPISODES SET TO DEBUT ON THE CW TELEVISION NETWORK
BACKPACKERS Will Premiere on The CW Network This Summer with 10 Original Half-Hour Episodes
“THE REAL BACKPACKERS” Digital Series to Launch in Summer on CW Seed
April 8, 2014 (Burbank, CA) – In a first for the network’s digital studio, CW Seed, the original digital series BACKPACKERS will make the jump from online-only to the broadcast network, with brand new original episodes of BACKPACKERS set to premiere on The CW Television Network this summer.
“Since launching last year, one of our missions for CW Seed was for it to serve as an incubator for new talent and new ideas,” said Rick Haskins, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Digital Programs, The CW. “We’re very excited to see BACKPACKERS turn from a short-form digital series into a full-length broadcast television show, and we are continuing to look at CW Seed for other possibilities to transform content and for creative new ways of doing business.”
BACKPACKERS will premiere with ten original half-hour episodes on The CW Network later this summer, with a date and time to be announced at a later date. The first four episodes contain material previously released as digital episodes on CW Seed; the final six wholly original episodes will be specifically written and produced for The CW Network.
In BACKPACKERS, best friends Ryan (Noah Reid, “Titanic”) and Brandon (Dillon Casey, “Nikita”) race across Europe in search of Ryan’s missing bride-to-be, while also struggling with the eternal twenty-something question of what to do with their lives. When Ryan’s lost journal suddenly gets posted online and explodes across the internet, Ryan’s life dream of becoming a published author becomes real – if only he can track down the jerk who stole the journal. With Brandon’s slacker brother Andrew (Giacomo Gianniotti, “Reign”) in tow, they travel from Thailand to Canada in search of the missing journal, while also seeking the ultimate answers to life, love and partying. BACKPACKERS is produced by Shaftesbury U.S. and Smokebomb Entertainment, Shaftesbury’s award-winning digital media arm, in association with The CW Television Network. Developed for television and produced by Jay Bennett, BACKPACKERS is executive produced by Maggie Murphy, Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie and Tom Mazza.
“It has been such a wonderful creative experience partnering with The CW on BACKPACKERS,” said Maggie Murphy, Head, Shaftesbury U.S. “This is our first online project to travel to television and a perfect example of how digital storytellers and broadcasters can come together to incubate and migrate content across multiple platforms.”
Corresponding with the BACKPACKERS series on-air, CW Seed will launch THE REAL BACKPACKERS as a corresponding digital reality series this summer. Guide Annie Unnold will travel to the same locations as her fictional BACKPACKERS counterparts, going behind the scenes and beyond the set to find the best real-life places to eat, drink and party – first in Europe and then in Canada.
What do you think? Do you plan to check out Backpackers on The CW?