AOL and Steve Buscemi have teamed up for a new original New York-based series called Park Bench (pictured).
The show, executive produced by Buscemi, will feature the actor having unscripted conversations about pop culture and current events with average New Yorkers, as well as some of his celebrity friends. The 12 episodes will be short-form, but the length will vary depending on the episode. AOL plans to debut the first four episodes on May 15, then roll out two more batches of four episodes.
Park Bench is produced by Olive Productions and RadicalMedia. AOL will carry the show in the U.S. while FremantleMedia International will shop the series to international television buyers at MIPTV in Cannes.
“When the show came to us there were already multiple parties involved. We loved the concept, we’re huge fans of Steve, the companies involved are all great to work with, so it all came together rather quickly,” says Gabriel Lewis, head of AOL Studios & AOL Originals.
Earlier this week AOL announced it has ordered its first long-form series, Connected, for its 2014-’15 programming slate. Also this week, it was announced that one of AOL’s original series that premiered last year, Nicole Richie’s #CandidlyNicole, has been picked up by VH1.
But the recent TV-related news doesn’t necessarily signal a shift in AOL’s video strategy, says Lewis.
“Extending distribution for content we produce and program has always been a goal, so when there are opportunities to do so we try to take advantage of them,” he tells realscreen sister publication StreamDaily. “It’s not so much a shift as a natural evolution.”
Production on the show is set to begin this month in New York City.
Catch Ran Harnevo, President of AOL Video, at the upcoming Stream Market in Santa Monica, CA this June.