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Friday, February 5, 2010

Riese Enters Extended Hiatus

Late last night, Ryan Copple and Kaleena Kiff, the producers of Riese, announced that due to an agreement with Fireworks, the UK based digital distribution arm of ContentFilms, all current episodes of the series were being pulled from the Internet while Fireworks negotiates various deals on behalf of the series. One question which remained from the announcement was how this decision would impact the release of future episodes. Today I had the opportunity to talk to Ryan Copple who confirmed that for the time being the release of new episodes is on hold.

Clearly, this was not an easy decision for the producers to make. In the end, according to Ryan, it came down to a question of sustainability. Riese is a very expensive, independently financed show. The producers decided that fans would rather see a completed story with a, hopefully, short hiatus rather than an incomplete one. In order to ensure that they would be able to complete the story they needed to secure additional financing. The last thing an audience wants is to watch three-fourths of a compelling story.

As one online commentator stated, “…this kind of shoots the series in the foot here, stranding the core online fan community that helped garner the series its early support.” Nevertheless, so far fan reaction has been largely supportive, even if the announcement’s timing could not have been worse. Riese had recently started its second chapter, a chapter which promised a significant progression in the story and boasts several high profile cast additions. Riese is not the first web series to take an extended production break. Hopefully, the hiatus will be short and the producers will garner the necessary funding needed to complete the series.


  1. Curious how does pulling episodes that have been watched and downloaded ad nauseam at this point help exactly, what does that gain you breaking the links and embeds and the presence.

    Is it going to be redone completely? Offered at a price now? How can that move enhance the profitability of a web series at this point? Or enhance negotiations?

    I can see not doing any more new until you know where it can be shown, or you charge, or you end up on TV but pulling web episodes that are out for months what's the upside?

  2. Well this sucks I was just starting to like the show.

  3. Interesting point DaveandTom.

    This is one of the problems when you start treating the web as just another TV distribution medium. Hopefully Riese will get what they want..........which seems to be a TV deal but it is an inconvenience for those who appreciate web video.

    It will be nice when the web is considered the primary distribution medium for world wide distribution and we get away from this piece meal nation state stuff that is so engrained in the TV mentality. Right now however it might take such TV deals to cover the cost associated with a show like Riese.

    Lets hope it can return to the web quickly and hopefully the embed will still be good.

  4. I think it is a case of 'you can't sell something that is free' which is why they had to take the show down. Hopefully, they will sell it to some people in Europe and those of US in America can still get it for free.

  5. For once I think anon might have a point. A few web series have taken the available for a limited time approach (Bannen and Dr. Horrible for instance) before making the videos available for a price. I guess the idea with these is to cast a wide net, build an audience, and hope you have enough diehards who will pay for something they have already seen.

    Also, to be fair it has done wonders for TV. I have personally purchased many seasons of my favorite show even though they are still available in syndication or on HULU.

    While that probably wasn't the plan in this case it is not unprecedented.

  6. I think they will get a deal quickly and the show will be back. I know I wouldn't mind paying for the show on DVD or ITunes.

  7. If it does come back as a pay model all the embeds will probably be dead. But at least you will have a show to watch.

  8. was that a dig at tubefilter?


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