DAILY NEWS Nov 20, 2012 7:44 AM - 0 comments

Shaftesbury to Distribute Hit Reality Web Series

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Worldwide distribution rights for hit Toronto-based reality web series The Avenue have been picked up by international TV production and distribution company Shaftesbury.

Shaftesbury also has signed a first-look deal with series executive producer Scott Fisher and his management/production company, Foreground.

Season one of the series (six x 15 minutes) delivered more than a million views and an audience retention rate of 82%, consisting of females between the ages of 13 and 24; Season two of The Avenue has a longer flight (12 x 15 minutes).

Produced by Toronto-based Foreground through a partnership with Youth Culture and targeted to a young female demographic, The Avenue follows YouTube phenomenon Gregory Gorgeous (Celebrity Style Story) and his twenty-something circle of friends as they navigate the daily drama of relationships and careers while taking on Toronto’s social scene.

The second season of The Avenue premieres online November 27 at watchtheavenue.com with a new episode to be uploaded each week. A video trailer is now streaming.

“With The Avenue, Scott and Foreground have delivered an addictive guilty pleasure that has been tailor-made for online audiences,” said Shane Kinnear, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Shaftesbury.

“We’re looking forward to bringing The Avenue to even more viewers in partnership with Shaftesbury,” said Scott Fisher, Founder/CEO, Foreground. “Under our first-look deal, Foreground and Shaftesbury will create fresh, dynamic multiplatform content for a variety of audiences.”

Established in 1993, Youth Culture uses a variety of print and digital communication platfroms to target the 13 to 24-year-old demographic.

The Avenue offers us the opportunity to increase our reach with our core demo and add to our knowledge of what young people deal with day-to-day,” said Kaaren Whitney-Vernon, President, Youth Culture. “We are always excited to connect with our audience and to be able to offer clients new ways to interact with their key demographic.”

Filmed on location in Toronto in the summer of 2012, the second season is grittier and more intense, with nothing off-limits to the camera.

The second season will be accompanied by weekly behind-the-scenes series The Avenue Lounge, in which host Emily Agard (High School Rush) will interview the cast about each week’s episode and offer a preview of what’s to come. The Avenue Lounge will also be available at watchtheavenue.com.

Covering topics from fashion and beauty to LGBT rights, Gregory Gorgeous is an empowering, 21-year-old lifestyle personality with a fiercely loyal fan base, including more than 319,000 subscribers and 44 million views on his branded YouTube channel. Gregory will appear on E! Canada’s Celebrity Style Story starting in January 2013.

The Avenue is produced by Foreground through a partnership with Youth Culture. Scott Fisher, Stéphane Paré, Kaaren Whitney-Vernon and Jacob Morris serve as executive producers. G. Lazzarato is co-executive producer with Miguel Barbosa serving as director.

Shaftesbury’s award-winning digital media division, Smokebomb Entertainment, creates original, interactive multiplatform content as well as media-rich online and mobile companion experiences for broadcast properties.

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