Right after Yahoo! announced Tom Hanks' web series, Electric City, another announcement came in that they would be teaming with CollegeHumor to produce a sports prank web series called Blindsided. It premieres next week. It will not have a host, so it will probably have teammates/friends pulling pranks on each other, and we know as of now the Knicks' Landry Fields and the Ravens' Ray Rice and Bryant McKinnie are involved. The new series will be produced by Electus, the company founded by former NBC head Ben Silverman and financed by Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp.
Pranks Will Never Not Be Popular
From Candid Camera to Punk'd, pranks have always been a part of the TV landscape. And on the web, forget about it. Pranks are huge and go viral. CollegeHumor's Amir Blumenfeld and Streeter Siedell have a whole series dedicated to pranking each other called Prank War. And it no doubt led to their hosting of MTV's Pranked, where amateurs turn in their own prank videos.
The Yahoo web series formula is simple. Get a known specialist in pranking, CollegeHumor, to help execute a series that will appeal to the, oh, 50 million or so unique visitors that visit Yahoo! Sports. That's a lot of potential viewers. And if somehow the scoring of Ray Rice/Bryant McKinnie parlays into a prank of fearsome Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis, you'd have a huge viral sensation there, although I haven't heard any news stories of Ray Rice or Bryant McKinnie having their arms ripped off, so maybe it's one of them getting pranked.
Dr. Pepper Ten, of the Coke Zero/Pepsi Max genre of soft drinks, will be the exclusive sponsor, and they'll be a part of an instant replay at the end of the show that highlights all the humiliation.