“Sex House,” the first web television show from Onion Digital Studios, a subsidiary of The Onion, wrapped up its first season yesterday with little of the fanfare that surrounded its debut. The series, marking The Onion’s foray into non-news digital parody, started off with a very sexy 2.4 million YouTube views for its first episode, “Meet the Nymphos,” but by episode 5, it was under 300,000. How low could it go, you ask? The next episode was viewed by less than 200,000, and as of this writing, the final episode of this 9-part series had been viewed by just 42,000 people. If this were network television, the show would have been yanked long ago. The beauty of the current Web is that viewership isn’t necessary for existence.
Another consideration is that The Onion moved its headquarters from New York to Chicago costing it several creative members of its staff.
Having watched the series in an attempt to see where it could go so wrong, I can honestly say it didn’t deserve the death it got.
No word on whether there will be a season 2, but at its current pace, that premiere would somehow manage to achieve negative viewers. And that would truly be a web first.