Veronica Mars returns to small screen: Canceled show surprisingly revived with web series

by Georgianna Pisano-Goetz ’15, contributing writer 

Continuing the series’ ingenious use of this modern Internet age, Veronica Mars will return to the small screen with a spin-off web series. Mark Pedowitz, CW president, made the announcement at his Television Critics Association (TCA) Press Tour this past week.

The web show is a collaboration between series creator Rob Thomas, Warner Brothers Digital, and the CW, which was the network that aired the last season of Veronica Mars after UPN showed the first two seasons.

Pedowitz made the announcement merely a week after talks began with Thomas and Warner Brothers Digital, signifying a confidence in the endeavor. It is especially notable considering the CW canceled the original television show and the WB ignored several appeals for a feature film revival before a movie was funded through Kickstarter.

Despite the fact that the majority of the cast has been able to reunite for the film, Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, is already committed to Showtime’s House of Lies. Instead of following the girl detective, the web series will feature six to eight 10-minute episodes starring Ryan Hansen, who has worked with Thomas on both Veronica Mars and Party Down.

Hansen is no stranger to web series, having participated in Yahoo’s goofy comedian round up and Bachelor parody, Burning Love. His character in the Veronica Mars universe is the slimy party boy, Dick Casablancas, who is Logan’s (Veronica’s emotionally damaged love interest) best friend throughout high school and roommate in the upcoming film.

Details regarding the project are few, but Thomas confirmed on his Twitter that the web series would concern a fictionalized version of Hansen attempting to put together a series around his Dick Casablancas character. Release of the series on the CW’s online channel, CW Seed is far off, considering Thomas is working on the film, as well as developing another pilot for the CW — this one an adaptation of the DC/Vertigo comic iZombie. Pedowitz acknowledged Thomas’ busy schedule, telling him, “We’ll take it whenever you’re ready.” Pedowitz further remarked that the series might not debut before the film.

Viewers are already aware thanks to trailers that Dick Casablancas will be returning in the feature film, living with Logan and harassing Veronica in her investigation to clear Logan of murder charges. The film, requesting $2 million, was the largest Kickstarter in the history of the crowdfunding site last Spring. After meeting its goal in an impressive 10 hours, over 90,000 fans continued to donate an unprecedented $5.7 million. The film earned a debut spot in the South by Southwest film festival in Texas, and will be on limited theatrical release starting March 14. A tie-in book series written by Thomas will also come out in 2014 courtesy of Vintage Books, which is unsurprising considering the first draft of the Veronica Mars television show was a young adult novel penned by Thomas, who has also written the young adult novel, Rats Saw God.

The revival is quite impressive for a show that was canceled seven years ago after only three seasons.

“I have great faith in Rob that he will deliver something fantastic and should it ever turn into a TV series again, hopefully he’ll think about us,” Pedowitz told reporters following his TCA session.

The Veronica Mars web series could conceivably go on-air, as the CW did end up broadcasting Joss Whedon’s (another well-known creator of canceled shows) three- part web series, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, as a special last year.

A book series, crowdfunded feature film, web series, and Pedowitz’s hints at a return to television, are remarkable for a series that was canceled back in 2007.

Junior Georgianna Pisano-Goetz is a staff writer. Her email is gpisanog@fandm.edu.

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