MTV’s cradle of comedy is continuing to bring up emerging talent.
While MTV2 nurtures fresh voices on Guy Code, Joking Off and their longer-form like, digital content lab MTV (Other) is focusing on 5 minute episodes of series like Inside Joke, Teacher’s Lounge, and even briefer clips.
Its latest, The Untitled Web Series That Morgan Evans Is Doing For MTV, is a nine-episode dive into the escapades of Evans as a young comic trying to make it in the business. The original 15-part series was a Kickstarter-funded project that raised just over $10,000 for production and was originally broadcast on YouTube. It was nominated for a 2013 Writers Guild Award in the original new media category.
MTV discovered Evans, a veteran of the Onion MTV who made appearances in Broad City, on YouTube. “We absolutely loved the concept and knew we wanted to work with him,” Garth Bardsley, vice president of Original Video for MTV Digital, tells Co.Create.
First he wrote and directed Teachers’ Lounge says Bardsley. He eventually started working here every day and then hosted the digital After After Show for the Teen Wolf franchise. “When he said he wanted to make a second season of Untitled, it made perfect sense for him to do it with us and make it about him working here at MTV—sorta—in his own special Morgan way.”
Chris McCarthy, general manager of MTV2, told Co.Create previously, that the overarching goal of the channel was to bring in undiscovered talent and feature them where it made sense. The opportunity to appear in multiple shows is a talent magnet, he said, and just helps build the audience.
So it’s not surprising that season two of Untitled riffs off Evan’s real life experience getting recruited to host the Teen Wolf show and will also feature talent from MTV’s current stable including Nicole Byer of Girl Code and Melissa Ponzio of Teen Wolf.
As for the short format, MTV is well aware that audiences all across the globe are responding to quicker takes on everything from shows to teasers. In the recent rebranding of MTV International, the network equipped the staffs of local channels with a digital toolbox to create their own promos –and shave them down from 20 or 30 seconds down to a fast and loud five-second clip.
Though MTV is not currently sharing MTV (Other)’s audience numbers, Bardsley says they are always looking to work with the best up-and-comers. “Whether it’s comedians or actors or writers, directors, animators, our digital platforms are a great place for them to showcase their work,” he says, pointing out other YouTubers like Laci Green currently on MTV Braless and Franchesca Ramsey of DeCoded. “Great filmmakers like Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva produce a really special show for us called No Seasons,” he adds. “Having such talented people working with us is good for MTV and good for our audience.”