File this under “that was quick.” The CW has been experimenting with using its digital studio, CW Seed, to develop new talent online before moving them over to TV. Such was the case for “Backpackers,” a Canadian comedy about a pair of recent college grads who decide to go on a backpacking tour across Europe before settling down and getting married. The series performed well online but has been canned by the network almost immediately after graduating to TV.
The show premiered July 14 on the CW, but despite a lead-in from the network’s only successful comedy property, “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?,” it failed to draw an audience. The network has been looking for comedies to balance out its current roster of programs which is currently anchored by a pack of teen fantasy dramas like “The Vampire Diaries” and “Arrow.” Despite being hard-up for laughs, the network still killed off its digital darling almost immediately.
The failure of “Backpackers” might be of interest to other digital creators like Shane Dawson and The Fine Brothers, who are looking to make the jump to television. Major networks have been combing YouTube over the last year, offering TV deals to some of its biggest stars in the hope that they can translate their huge online audiences into TV ratings. The untimely death of “Backpackers” should serve as a reminder that success online is no guarantee of success on the airwaves.
Share with any Backpackers fans you may know — they’re probably having a rough day!
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