As ‘HarmonQuest’ premiere axed, many wonder what’s going on at Seeso

Is the comedy streaming site experiencing growing pains, or a last gasp?

Jul 31, 2017, 12:47 pm*

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Audra Schroeder 

Audra Schroeder

Dan Harmon with a See So logo on his monitor

Screengrab via The Orchard Movies/YouTube (Fair Use) Remix by Jason Reed

Last week, fans of the Seeso series HarmonQuest found out season 2 of the Dan Harmon-created show wouldn’t be premiering as planned. The announcement came a day before it was set to premiere, and fans were understandably upset. Over the last few months, many have wondered if Seeso still has a pulse.

In June, Decider reported that Seeso was selling off HarmonQuest and My Brother, My Brother and Me, two of its more popular shows, to Otter Media. That same month, the company was hit with layoffs. In May, Seeso head Evan Shapiro left the company. Rumors that it was dead or in trouble circulated, but the company never confirmed them.

https://twitter.com/SeesoTV/status/890322212913336321

The modestly priced, NBC-owned comedy streaming site debuted in January 2016 and over the last year and a half, rolled out an impressive roster of original programming like HarmonQuestBajillion Dollar Properties, and Take My Wife, as well as standup specials. But Seeso never really reached brand recognition. At SXSW 2017, people weren’t sure what it was. In the new season of Hulu’s Difficult People, there’s a joke about not knowing what Seeso is. Bajillion Dollar Properties creator Kulap Vilaysack said in June that she wasn’t sure about the series’ future.

Kelsey Balance, Seeso’s head of programming, told the Daily Dot earlier this year that experimenting and taking risks was the foundation of its programming. But in such a crowded streaming landscape, and with Netflix and Hulu rolling out more original programming, that signal might have been lost.

And that’s a shame because Seeso did have some quality content, and it would be interesting to see how it would do outside a corporate husk like NBC, which never did much promotion of the platform on any of its popular comedy shows. On the HarmonQuest Facebook post, many fans said the show was the one reason they subscribed to Seeso, illustrating that online fandoms (My Brother, My Brother and Me is another example) could translate to series success. As has been suggested, shoring up its standup content could also make Seeso stand out.

We’ve reached out to Seeso for comment.

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*First Published: Jul 31, 2017, 12:46 pm