US netcaster Hulu has picked up Guidestones, a mystery series from online studio iThentic and 3 O’Clock TV in Canada.
The series debuted on the web earlier this week and is set to run in a slightly altered form by spring on netcasting services in both Canada and the US. The US service is understood to be Hulu.
The series follows an investigation by two young journalists into occult events connected with the titular structure – the so-called “American Stonehenge” outside Atlanta, Georgia that has long fuelled the imaginations of conspiracy theorists and other doomsayers.
Executive producer Jonas Diamond of iThentic has crossed paths with Hulu before – the US firm last year picked up Odd Job Jack, a web series he made years ago through Toronto’s Smiley Guy Studios.
“We’re trying to monetise online content and Hulu has turned out to be one of the few platforms that generates revenue for digital producers,” said Diamond, adding that he sees Guidestones as a truly interactive series, not a TV show that was “carved up” for the web.
Guidestones was co-created, written and directed by 3 O’Clock president Jay Ferguson; iThentic distributes the series, with an assist from Entertainment One, which is pursuing other digital and conventional sales. “We want to focus on being successful online, but we’re not going to shoo broadcasters away,” Diamond said.
The more interactive, or “push” version debuted this week, playing to those who sign up on the site, which iThentic is promoting through social media. Subscribers get email alerts in real time to match the events of the 50x3′ series. A linear 34x3′ version will be netcast this spring.
The series shot in Toronto, locations in the US and India, and is the first of a planned three-season run. The second installment is looking to shoot later this year. Heavy.com was attached to Guidestones when it was first announced, but is no longer connected.
The series is supported through Canada’s Independent Production Fund and sponsors including Coca-Cola, Canadian fast-food chain Pizza Pizza and the Toronto Blue Jays.