At his old jobs — running Paramount, and then Disney — Michael Eisner was paid to pick winners, and he did a very good job. But that track record doesn’t mean much in the world of Web video.
Eisner started out on the Web with a hit: With a push from MySpace, and then Veoh and YouTube, “Prom Queen”, racked up 15 million views over two seasons. But “Foreign Body“, his newest effort, has been a flop so far.
The first 9 episodes of the show, which started airing May 27, have drawn fewer than 10,000 views. YouTube has recently given the series a push, showcasing it as a “featured” video, but it’s still not burning up the charts: On Sunday, it racked up 43,000 views, but then fell back to 20,000 on Monday. To date, the show has genereated about 140,000 views, according to TubeMogul.
That’s no “Prom Queen”, and it’s no Quarterlife, either — MySpace’s Web serial accumulated 2 million views in its first three weeks. “Foreign Body” isn’t exactly the same as those hits: In part it’s supposed to be promoting a new novel by Robin Cook, published by Bertelsmann’s Penguin. But it’s also supposed to be a stand-alone success: The 50 episodes will have a $500,000 budget, a steamy storyline and plenty of attractive people. So you’d think it could stir up some interestl. The numbers say otherwise:
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