Next Time On Lonny, the satirical online video series executive produced by Ben Stiller‘s Red Hour Digital and Disney-owned Maker Studios, debuts the first three episodes of its second season on Maker.TV and, for today only, YouTube, with a raft of guest appearances by Hollywood notables including Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt, Kal Penn, Jerry O’Connell, Kathy Baker, Haley Joel Osment and Paul Scheer. The entire season is being sponsored by Verizon, with more episodes rolling out twice a week on Maker.TV and Maker’s comedy hub, Nacho Punch. The show is a satire of reality TV, blending sketch comedy and imaginary film preview segments. It was created by Alex Anfanger, who also stars, and Dan Schimpf, who directs. Besides Stiller, Anfanger and Schimpf, executive producers of the show include Stuart Cornfeld, Mike Rosenstein and Debbie Liebling. Brillstein Entertainment Partners represent Anfanger and Schimpf.
Yesterday, reports surfaced that about 10% of the company’s 380 employees had been laid off, part of a continuing restructuring in the fast-changing online-video space. A Maker spokesperson declined to comment on whether any layoffs had occurred, but said, “Maker’s business is constantly evolving, and we routinely reassess our internal resources and make strategic adjustments, reducing staff in some areas while actively hiring in others.” A source close to the company emphasized the company is continuing to hire in some areas of its business. “If there is at any point a reduction, it’s not tied to the Disney acquisition,” the source said. “Maker is in a very healthy place, given the acquisition. It’s aligning its resources to its goals.”
Disney acquired Maker in April for a minimum of $500 million (there’s an “earn-out” of up to $450 million more if they hit certain milestones going forward) after a last-minute bid by Relativity was rejected and former Maker executives unsuccessfully sued to try to block the deal. The company is based in sleekly designed, sprawling offices in the Hayden Tract of Culver City, a former industrial area that long has been home to new-media, post-production and similar entertainment and tech firms. With about 55,000 online-video creators in its stable of talent, and an aggregated Millennial-oriented audience of 380 million subscribers, the company has been one of the most prominent of the so-called multi-channel networks that have emerged on YouTube and other online video distributors over the past couple of years, aggregating content creators with similar areas of focus, then trying to make money by selling those audiences to advertisers at higher rates than Google typically delivers.
If you want to check out the new episodes of Lonny, here are the links: