PLEASE NOTE: This story was posted on April 1, 2013. Please note the date.
TBS ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO “LUMBER BARON OF JASPER COUNTY”
Half-Hour Television Series Based on the Blip.tv Web Series to Premiere in 2013
Iconic internet phenomenon “The Lumber Baron of Jasper County” is moving his lumber yard to a new location. Time Warner announced today they’ve acquired the television rights to the most-watched lumber-based web series of all-time. Watched by hundreds on Blip.tv, a new half-hour television series will premiere in late 2013 as part of TBS’s original programming block, including “Cougar Town” and “Men at Work.”
Created by Dave R. Watkins and Michael D Friedman and produced by leading entertainment management and production company Cougars Film Group, The Lumber Baron of Jasper County follows the antics of an out-of-control Lumber Supply Store owned by a delusional man who thinks he’s the “Lumber Baron.” The television series is the latest brand extension for The Lumber Baron which has already taken the internet by storm. The popularity has also translated over to the official web site, www.lumberbarontheseries.com, which generates nearly forty page views each month.
“The Lumber Baron and TBS were just meant to be together,” said Randy O’Johnson, chief content officer for TBS.
The television series was developed and will be produced by Cougars Film Group, which also financed the pilot before shopping it to broadcasters. Dave R. Watkins co-created the television series with Quentin Tarantino (Oscar Award-winning writer for Django Unchained). Ryan Reynolds (director of Midnight Meat Train) will serve as executive producer for the series along with Harvey Weinstein and John Belushi of Disney Television.
“Two years ago when I launched the Lumber Baron, I never imagined that my unhealthy obsession with wood would become such a phenomenon” said creator Dave R. Watkins. “I’m really excited to bring a new version to TBS.”
The original cast remains, except for the character of Pete, who will now be played by Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl, Mallrats). Michael D Friedman, who originated the role of Pete, will stay on board to be the head writer.
“We want to continue to ensure that The Lumber Baron’s huge and loyal audience can enjoy the fruits of Dave’s creative vision whenever and wherever they want,” said Miguel Fritohombre, CEO of Cougars Film Group. “Our model at Cougars is to partner with creative artists to build global brands across all possible platforms and we could not be more excited to join forces with the TBS to extend the magic of this property to cable television.”
The television deal comes as the first wave of The Lumber Baron licensed merchandise is being met with strong demand at retail. Leading the way a line of apparel and accessories that began to roll out in May at JC Penney locations nationwide. The highly-anticipated debut toy line from master toy partner Plushy Toyz. which features a collection of talking plush, clip-ons and collectible figures will hit specialty retailers including Toys “R” Us and RadioShack in time for the holiday gift giving season. Meanwhile, The Lumber Baron: Jackalope Attack app is now available for iPhone and Android.
TBS (tbs.com), currently seen in more than 99 million U.S. homes and 166 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world. And for those of you that still haven’t figured it out, April Fools!