Crackle, a network owned by Sony, is now going to make that relationship even clearer, rebranding to Sony Crackle starting this spring.
Eric Berger, chief digital officer at Sony Pictures Television Networks and Crackle’s general manager, promised a new look and interface for the network.
“Being in the Sony family is invaluable,” said Berger at Winter TCA in Pasadena on Sunday. “Consumers are deeply passionate about brands and when it comes to brand recognition, there’s no question where Sony ranks.”
Sony is one of the top-100 global brands and going forward, Sony Crackle will reflect that.
“This is just the beginning of what will be a global effort to incorporate the Sony name into Crackle’s portfolio,” said Berger. “We want to lean into the power of what Sony stands for.”
Berger focused on what makes Crackle unique in the overcrowded landscape: it’s free.
Crackle is not only the number-one over-the-top ad-supported network, but the only free network with scripted originals.
Unlike other networks, “we’re not trying to be all things to all people,” said Berger. “We program Crackle like a linear network. We know our audience.”
“Sony is on the front lines on reimagination of business, and their dual commitment to storytelling and technology,” said Berger, and sought to prove it.
In advance of Crackle’s first original feature In the Cloud, about the evolution of VR and AI and the dangers therein, the network plans to introduce an In the Cloud VR companion piece on February 1. The film, which stars Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment) and Justin Chatwin (Shameless), premieres February 8.
A month later, on March 8, Crackle welcomes The Oath, a show about the world of cop gangs. Based on true events and created by former LA cop (and gang member) Joe Halpin, the show stars Sean Bean (Game of Thrones), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Katrina Law (Arrow), Cory Hardrict (American Sniper), Arlen Escarpeta (The Magicians), J.J. Soria (Animal Kingdom) and Elisabeth Röhm (American Hustle).
“Our goal is not to glorify but to shine a light on it,” said Halpin.“We hope this show brings awareness to the systemic cancer that lives within police departments, and that it will have to be addressed. Hopefully this show will cause conversations that get things done.”
The show was shot in Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria, and the cast made it clear how thankful they were to bring business back to the country. Sony Crackle made donations to hurricane relief help for every person who attended the TCA lunch.
From there, Crackle announced that they will be the exclusive domestic home to Office Uprising, a horror action spoof that stars Zachary Levi (Chuck), Jane Levy (Suburgatory) and Brenton Thwaites (Teen Titans). The film debuts this summer.
Also in the pipeline is The Butcher from Douglas Urbanski and Golden Globe winner Gary Oldman of Flying Studio Pictures. The supernatural drama follows a homicide detective tracking down a serial killer who is “beyond human.”
Finally, Crackle’s in development on Rob Riggle’s Jet Ski Academy, a comedy series about a slightly fictionalized version of Riggle starting a jet ski academy. Riggle writes, produces and stars in the show.
The network also provided updates on its returning shows.
The Emmy-nominated Super Mansion returns for six episodes and a summer special when its third season drops April 12.
Snatch is in production of season two now, as the show moves from England to Spain. Entourage’s Kevin Connolly will direct several episodes.
In the meantime, Snatch’s VR heist experience will be made available on January 16 on Playstation. The game gives users a chance to crack a giant safe.
The next season of StartUp will welcome Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino into the fold, playing an NSA agent.