Few know comedy like Evan Shapiro. The producer and network runner has spent time at the helm of IFC, Sundance Channel, Pivot, and, most recently, Seeso, NBC’s comedy streaming service.
Breaking away from the ensemble, Shapiro has struck out on his own with eShapTV, where is currently producing a pilot for POP and has just released a new comedy series, Bartlett, for Amazon Prime Video and Vimeo on Demand. All six episodes of the series are currently available on both platforms.
Bartlett, which tells the story of an advertising agency executive who is leaving the ad world to pursue a music career, plays out over the course of a single day and features Anthony Veneziale, Chrissy Mazzeo, and Utkarsh Ambudkar (with cameos from Lin-Manuel Miranda).
For more on Bartlett and eshapTV, we spoke with Evan Shapiro:
Found Remote: Why did you choose to premiere Bartlett on Amazon Prime Video and Vimeo on Demand?
Evan Shapiro: I was lucky enough to work with amazing producers, led by Chrissy Mazzeo and Rivkah Medow, who got this series made independently. After testing the entire marketplace, and getting a sense of how best to get this series to people who will want to watch it, the access of Amazon Prime, married to the cult-like community of Vimeo felt like the right match to the independent spirit of the show itself.
FR: How are you generating awareness for the show?
Shapiro: Our overall strategy is Press, married to social, culminating in wide access.
We started mapping the strategy out this summer, planning the launch at the NY TV Festival – we knew we could generate some press there. We used the festival to create an insiders’ word of mouth campaign. We used that to generate interest from the Press. EW ran a wonderful piece, as did Playbill. Showing how important a great press agent is. These gave us great stuff for our team, and our cast – including Anthony, Lin, Don and UTK – to promote on social. Their fans then shared their promotion. More press calls. Rinse. Repeat.
It’s been remarkably efficient. But it’s effectiveness is amplified by the reach of Amazon and the targeting of Vimeo. This online grass roots type of campaign requires our content be super EASY to find. So our marketing, and our distribution, are two halves of one, holistic strategy.
FR: What stood out to you about Bartlett when the idea was pitched?
Shapiro: The diversity of the cast, crew and producers, and the remarkably clever way the story is told.
FR: How does the show align with what you’re trying to accomplish at eshapTV?
Shapiro: Bartlett is a marriage of old-school indie filmmaking and next-gen content delivery. That is eshapTV in a nutshell.