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Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Returns To The Internet


Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David with a 1952 VW Beetle, via Twitter

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David with a 1952 VW Beetle, via Twitter

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Jerry Seinfeld’s internet-only 2012 comedy sensation, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, was born from a rather simple thought. Seinfeld merged the things he likes (cars, coffee and relationships with fellow comedians) into a variable-length series, designed for easy viewing on tablet or smartphone.

That’s not to say that pitching the first season to internet-based companies was without difficulty. As The New York Times explains, most executives couldn’t quite figure out how to distribute and market the show, even if they recognized its potential.

Ultimately, Seinfeld turned to Sony, since that’s the company that distributes Seinfeld in syndication. The net result was a 10-episode run that drew 10 million unique viewers to Sony’s Crackle website, where the comedy was presented without sponsorship or advertising (it was also available for free on the Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee website).

Seinfeld will reportedly announce a second season of 24 episodes on Monday, but the big question is this: now that the show has an audience, how can Sony and Seinfeld draw revenue from it without alienating viewers?

Sponsorship and advertising is clearly the way forward, but both Seinfeld and Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures television, want to proceed with caution here. While plenty of companies offered to sponsor the first season, Seinfeld rejected this as he wanted to avoid “clutter” during the show’s first season.

Expect to see sponsorship for the second season, which should deliver more of the same content. Details will be released on Monday, but we expect the new season to run on Crackle and on the show’s website.

Don’t expect to catch it on television any time soon, though: the variable-length format and its targeted focus make the show a bit too edgy for television.
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