Commentary

How A Web Show Lands a TV Deal - Add Bacon, Vodka and Watch

What’s the secret recipe for making the jump from the Web to TV?

Food, evidently.

The way to our eyeballs is indeed through our stomachs, whether for the youth-skewing Annoying Orange, a series about talking fruit that’s landed a TV deal, or Epic Meal Time, the ultimate guy-centric show about insanely large bacon-laden meals that dudes eat with in-your-face attitude, the latest Web show to hit paydirt with TV.

Epic Meal Time, carried online by Revision3, closed out an epic year in which it racked up massive views online – it counts more than 2 million subscribers on YouTube and nearly 300 million views – by scoring a TV deal with G4.

So is the lesson of 2011 that TV deals go through your stomach? Maybe. But the bigger takeaway with the Epic Meal Time-G4 deal is that the show doesn’t look like traditional TV fare, but it’s got enough familiarity that it can connect with TV viewers. Here’s why — Epic Meal Time is derived from a programming genre that works — witness the hot-dog or pie-eating contests that have been popular viewing fare for years.

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But of all the millions of cooking videos online, from how to make a margarita to how to cook organic, why this show? Fascination with the abomination, baby. Will the hosts really make a 10,000 calorie candy sushi roll of bacon, marshmallows, Twizzlers, Twinkies and whipped cream? And will they eat it?

Yes and yes.

You just can’t turn away from this kind of appointment viewing. Online or on-air.

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