Following the long-awaited, crowd-funded Veronica Mars movie that so impressively strong-armed its way into cinemas in March, CW Seed has confirmed its development of a spin-off series titled Play It Again, Dick.
The digital arm of The CW network will produce and air the new show, which concentrates on fan favourite recurring Veronica Mars character, Dick Casablancas – played by Ryan Hansen. Hansen has recently appeared on the TV comedy Bad Teacher, as well as reprising his role as Casablancas in the Veronica Mars movie. However, as CW President Mark Pedowitz explained in a press release, this new spin-off show is not exactly a straightforward narrative tale. Rather, it gives a fresh spin on the entire franchise:
“Play It Again, Dick stars Hansen as himself, as he begs, cajoles and pleads with his former Veronica Mars castmates and friends to help him get his character, Dick Casablancas, his own spin-off show. Play It Again, Dick is co-written and executive produced by Rob Thomas, the creator and executive producer of Veronica Mars, and will include guest appearances by some of Hansen’s fellow Veronica Mars stars.”
Indeed, it seems that the crowd-funding campaign for the movie has alerted the network to the continued interest and dedication of Veronica Mars fandom – also known as ‘Marshmallows’ – and the associated opportunities to build upon a show that was once cancelled despite improving ratings. To its credit, CW Seed is offering its audience something that, while being of the Veronica Mars world, is actually entirely new – rather than simply re-hashing what worked before.
This is a strategy that could potentially pay big dividends for the fledgling digital division – creating a show based on an existing brand, while being accessible and attractive to new viewers. Such an advanced approach reflects the ethos behind CW Seed, which was launched in August 2013 to build new audiences for The CW network with original digital programming.
It seems that this Veronica Mars off-shoot, Play It Again, Dick, has found the perfect home on The CW off-shoot, CW Seed. We will see if that game-plan pays off – and which Veronica Mars cast members will be appearing – when the show is broadcast later this year.