Top Spot of the Week: "They're Here" Webisode Of Comcast XFINITY Series "Glued"
This week’s Top Spot is actually a webisode, “They’re Here,” of Glued, the Comcast XFINITY brand’s first ever original online series. Executive produced by Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Divorce) and directed by John Riggi (30 Rock), the webisodes are a humorous take on how people’s favorite television shows change the way they act and interact with each other. The show was created with advertising agency Droga5 in partnership with Merman X Pulse, the venture created in 2015 when scripted TV comedy specialty house Merman came together with advertising and branded content production company Pulse Films.
Starring John Ross Bowie (Big Bang Theory) and Jamie Denbo (Orange is the New Black), Glued takes viewers on a comedic journey in the life of a married couple who discover a new hit television show. From overcoming frustrating barriers to watching it, dealing with the guilt of “TV cheating” on your spouse and navigating the murky world of spoiler threats, Glued highlights different realities about how our favorite shows impact our lives. Throughout the web series, the couple’s relationship grows and evolves just as their relationship with the show deepens.
“There are so many stories around the way we watch television, and we had so much fun telling them,” said Horgan. “We didn’t have to stretch very far beyond our own real lives. It all felt so fresh, and clever, and real, which is what I really responded to.”
The “They’re Here” webisode finds real-life married couple Bowie and Denbo grudgingly agree to stop watching their favorite show to have another couple over for dinner. Bowie and Denbo at first do whatever they can to speed the dinner along so that their friends will leave and the television can be switched on--until they learn more about their couple and what they have in common, and not in common, TV-wise.
The first four webisodes of Glued are now available on the XFINITY YouTube channel, watchable.com and XFINITY On Demand, with the final two scheduled for release June 30. All six webisodes – titled “The Discovery,” “It’s Bedtime,” “They’re Here,” “The Betrayal,” “Spoiler Alert,” and “Le Fin” – range from three to five minutes in length and each focus on a different TV-watching behavior. Whether it’s establishing viewing rules with your spouse or developing new parenting techniques to facilitate binge-watching, Glued contains storylines everyone can identify with.
“TV is more than entertainment – it’s a universally shared experience that brings people together, and Glued explores the common behaviors we all recognize when we get hooked on a show,” said Sherri Davis, sr. director, brand experience at Comcast. “Sharon Horgan has an incredible talent for highlighting these cultural truths, demonstrating how XFINITY connects people to the things they love and enjoy.”
Horgan served as an executive producer, writer and co-creator for Glued. Among her other credits, she co-created, co-writes and stars in the British sitcom Catastrophe and is also the creator and executive producer of HBO’s upcoming comedy series Divorce. Riggi directed all six episodes.
“This was the closest project we have ever done to our real marriage,” said Denbo. “Glued is basically our life. One week John watched our favorite show without me and I was enraged. I forced him to re-watch the same episode with me again. Which he liked, so that backfired. Point is, the show is very real.”
The series is being supported by an integrated digital and social media campaign, including 15-second cut-downs, a show trailer and customized GIFs across brand owned and paid channels.
With more than three billion hours viewed in 2015, XFINITY On Demand is one of the most viewed platforms for time-shifting on TV. In addition to Glued, it includes 85,000 choices, including a growing collection of current season TV shows and movies, many now available to own and access anytime.
Client Comcast XFINITY Agency Droga5 NY David Droga, creative chairman; Ted Royer, chief creative officer; Tim Gordon, group creative director; Lauren Costa, Denise Zurilgen, creative directors; Jim Curtis, sr. copywriter; Ryan Fitzgerald, sr. art director; Dan Litzow, jr. copywriter; Max Friedman, jr. art director; Rob Trostie, executive design director; Nate Moore, sr. designer; Dan Kane, designer; Sally-Ann Dale, chief creation officer; Ben Davies, head of broadcast production; Bill Berg, Andrew Slough, sr. broadcast producers; Niklas Lindstrom, head of interactive production; Madison Goldberg, interactive media producer; Bethany Lyons, associate media producer; Alice Tam, social producer; Cliff Lewis, head of art production; Paul McGeiver, photographer; Robert Ohman, associate photographer; Jonny Bauer, global chief strategy officer; Ramon Jimenez, group strategy director; Emily Mulvey, sr. strategist; Elsa Stahura, sr. communications strategist; Lily Ng, data strategy director; Abiola Adeniyi, sr. data strategist. Production Merman x Pulse Sharon Horgan, co-creator and writer; John Riggi, director; John Inwood, DP; Cielia Mountford, Kira Carstensen, Jeremy Rainbird, exec producers; Steven Ast, producer; Gilana Lobel, production supervisor; Christine Rose, Shaun Pye, Mark Chappell, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Georgia Pritchett, Katy Brand, Holly Walsh, writers; Krissie Ducker, writing assistant. Editorial Final Cut Steve Ackroyd, editor; Spencer Campbell, cutting assistant; Daniel Walker, assistant; Jen Sienkwicz, head of production; Sarah Roebuck, exec producer; Stephanie Apt, managing director. Postproduction Significant Others Alik Rost, finishing producer; T Terressa Tate, mixer; Chas Langston, audio assistant; Betty Cameron, Flame assist; Philip Brooks, motion graphics designer. Color Color Collective Mike Howell, colorist; Natacha Ikoli, assistant; Claudia Guevara, exec producer. Music Daniel Koren, Benjamin Balcom, composers.