Banshees, Sharks and Comedians Take Home Innovation Prizes

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The Next TV Awards, handed out at the Next TV Summit and Expo during NYC Television Week, recognized innovators across emerging platforms. The awards were judged by Daniel Tibbets, chief content officer at Machinima, David Wertheimer, president of digital for Fox Broadcasting Co., and Mike Murphy, head of content partnerships for Intel. Here is a closer look at the winners:

Best Broadcast or Cable Web Extension on the Internet


Cinemax’s Banshee has made it a point to bolster its linear series with multiplatform content. Showrunner and executive producer Greg Yaitanes (Jonathan Tropper, Peter Macdissi and True Blood’s Alan Ball also serve as exec producers) has kept digital media at the forefront in engaging viewers. A bevy of nonlinear content—more than 90 additional minutes of short lms—is built into the show’s production.

The height of this multimedia content is Banshee Origins, a collection of videos that are set prior to the pilot episode. At, fans of the series—called “Fanshees”—can watch these backstories, as well as discover hidden codes and Easter eggs from the show.

The series, which begins its third season on Jan. 9, has helped spur 16% subscriber growth for Cinemax since 2009, along with other originals Strike Back and The Knick. —Luke McCord

Best Original Internet Series, Short- or Long-Form

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has a simple, repeatable premise: Jerry Seinfeld calls up a fellow comedian for a cup of coffee and then picks him or her up to shoot the breeze.

Each episode of the series, hosted on Sony’s over-the-top streaming service Crackle, runs about 10 to 20 minutes. Arriving in an impressive array of cars, from Porsches to Gremlins, Seinfeld has a discursive, low-key chat with his guest.

The show has earned some awards recognition since its 2012 debut. It has garnered two Emmy nominations, one for Outstanding Short-Format Non ction Program in 2014 and another for Outstanding Special Class— Short-Format Non ction Programs in 2013. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee also nabbed a Webby Award and Silver and Bronze Telly Awards.

Prior to its fth season, Comedians raked in nearly 70 million streams. In April, the series was renewed for four additional seasons—24 episodes in total—sponsored exclusively by Acura. —LM

Best Social TV or Second-Screen App

Sharknado 2

The head of the Statue of Liberty cutting a bloody path through the streets of New York City. Actress Tara Reid wielding a buzzsaw as a hand. The hosts of NBC’s Today show killing a CGI shark. Moments like these from Syfy’s Sharkando 2: The Second One helped the campfest rack up more than 1 billion Twitter impressions and inspired posts such as “16 Gifts Sharknado 2 Gave the World” on social news site Buzzfeed.

During its July 30 premiere this year, Twitter’s top 10 trending topics were all related to the shark thriller. It was Syfy’s most watched original movie ever, pulling a 1.3 rating with adults 18-49 during its Wednesday night premiere and improving 190% from its Sharknado predecessor.

Sharknado 2 anchored the network’s Sharknado Week slate, which also included disaster lms like Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda. Following the success of the Anthony C. Ferrante-directed movie, Syfy has greenlit the third installment of the series, which will premiere next year. —Ariana Romero

Best Branded Internet Video

‘Key & Peele Non-Stop’

Key & Peele’s pop-culture obsessed characters from the Comedy Central show’s ongoing sketch “The Valets” may love Mel “Mellie” Gibson and Batman, but no one is closer to their hearts than action star Liam Neeson. According to them, he’s the only man formidable enough to ght Gotham’s caped crusader, The Grey’s pack of wolves and a Battleship robot-boat.

The valets’ adoration for Neeson made it the perfect co-branding outlet for his February movie Non-Stop. Universal, which distributed Non-Stop, partnered with Viacom’s Comedy Central for the video “What About Non-Stop, Though.” Key and Peele’s characters provide call-backs to the of cial trailer and throw in too much information about Julianne Moore’s casting.

The campaign also helped reach young men, a key demo for movie blockbusters. Comedy Central aired a 60-second clip of “What About Non-Stop, Though,” with the full-length clip on YouTube and At press time it more had 2.5 million YouTube views. —AR