What better day than 4/20 to announce some major news for High Maintenance, the popular Vimeo web series about a roving pot dealer and his portfolio of uniquely neurotic New York clients. The show has earned rave reviews for its comedic sensibility and television quality production, and now the series’ creators are getting a shot at the big leagues. HBO is taking the show to series with a six episode order, according to Deadline.
The news fits perfectly into a trend that has seen more cable and broadcast networks taking an interest in web creators. The last year has seen networks ramp up their efforts to headhunt YouTube stars like Grace Helbig, The Fine Brothers, Flula Borg, and Shane Dawson for a variety of projects. While recruiting personalities and talent from the web has started to become common place. What’s less typical is for a popular web series to make the jump to TV wholesale, but after the success Comedy Central has had bringing Abby Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s Broad City to television, it’s no surprise that networks are shipping for web series.
High Maintenance has had an incredible amount of support from web and traditional media. The show’s first season was released for free on Vimeo in 2014, garnering an unusual amount of praise for the artsy web platform. When Vimeo announced plans to fund more original content the show was first on their list. A second Vimeo-funded season appeared on Vimeo on demand late last year. Continued interest in the series caught the eye of HBO who offered co-creators Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair a chance to bring the project to TV.
Right now High Maintenance has a six episode order and no set premiere date. The existing 19 episodes of the show have also been snatched up and will become available to HBO, HBOGo, and HBONow subscribers later this year. With the emergence of their standalone web service, this may be the first of many web series pickups from the forward thinking premium cable giant.
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