The second season of StartUp kicks off on Crackle Sept. 28, and creator Ben Ketai promises a more impactful season than the first one. “It’s definitely much more high suspense, high octane, higher stakes,” he says, “as we explore a new realm of technology.”
Season one focused on cryptocurrency, similar to Bitcoin. Season two looks at the dark web.
Like the first season, season two is set in Miami, and also sees the action venture out to Silicon Valley, Sweden and Cuba. “We definitely try to focus on the darker side of Miami,” says Ketai, “that you don’t normally get to see in TV or movies.”
Martin Freeman, who we loved as Lester Nygaard in season one of Fargo, returns as Phil Rask. “He’s just a force,” says Ketai. “He’s an athlete of the craft.”
Joining the cast is Ron Perlman, who Ketai said is “a huge fan” of StartUp. He plays Wes, a pal of Nick’s father; the two had some shady business going on way back when, and he’s lending some money, and expertise, to Nick, who is played by Adam Brody.
“To see him step into the role and eat up the screen the way he does,” says Ketai, “is such a pleasure.”
Ketai, who previously produced the thriller series Chosen for Crackle, gives the digital network high marks as a partner. Notes he’s received have been designed to help StartUp reach a larger audience. “Crackle has been my family the past 5-6 years,” he says. “They’ve very much about fostering the creative’s voice. They like for filmmakers to do what they do best.”
The creator says he’s “thrilled” with how season one of StartUp landed, and notes how Amazon has helped with international distribution. “It reached so many different people around the world,” Ketai says.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.