Former search engine champ Yahoo is looking to pull in new traffic by teaming up with Ben Stiller's Red Hour Productions and Paramount's Insurge Pictures to produce a comedy spoof of the reality show "The Bachelor." The series, called "Burning Love," is a succession of 7 to 10-minute episodic shorts that parodies the popular bachelor-picks-woman reality competition.
Already available are three episodes featuring fireman and bachelor Orlando (played by Ken Marino) picking his future wife from a batch of fourteen non-traditional women. Their descriptions include The Homeless One, The Psycho, Damaged Goods and even The Slut. There's even a 90-year-old woman, a transvestite, a woman who wears no pants, a closeted lesbian and Jennifer Aniston dressed up as a panda.
The cast includes Kristen Bell, Michael Ian Black, Adam Scott and others, and even features cameos by Jake Pavelka, Malin Akerman, Christine Taylor and more -- Ben Stiller and his wife, Christine Taylor, also make an appearance. The show will conclude when the bachelor hands over the final "hose" to one lovely lady, poking fun at The Bachelor's rose gift.
Yahoo is betting the success of the show on the growing use of handy media-consuming devices like tablets and high-end smartphones. It's all about the dollar really: lure in more advertising dollars by luring in more customers. What better platform to do this than the iPad or iPhone?
"We're in the midst of a tipping point to take long-form, primary experiences from TV and get them online, onto tablets and smartphones," said Erin McPherson, vice president and head of Video Programming and Originals at Yahoo. "Digital entertainment is here to stay whether we like it or not."
In addition to the spoof, Yahoo will debut Tom Hanks' first digital program, "Electric City," later this year. Yahoo has also partnered with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" creator and producer Anthony E. Zuiker to create the online motion picture "Cybergeddon" which chronicles the rise of cyber crime.
"Yahoo! is poised to occupy the middle ground, which really is the future of media. We are powered by technology; we employ a technology-driven experience ... and we respect content," McPherson said. "Specifically for comedy, it's where a lot of the best work is being done."
"Comedy and the Internet are sort of a perfect match because of the way comedy is structured, you can just enjoy something for three minutes and then get out. A lot of comedians are finding they have a tremendous amount of creative freedom that they wouldn't have on television," he added.
To watch the first three episodes of Burning Love, head here.