Pictured- Rick McCrank; Copyright Seph Lawless 2016
The new television network Viceland launched last month and has been the latest buzz amongst selfie-obsessed, phone-addicted kids across the country. Well, not really—but that’s what this new, edgy network certainly hopes will happen.
For years, the real concern among major TV networks was how to keep younger viewers from leaving traditional cable programming for more social video sharing sites like YouTube, Hulu and Amazon. It’s been such a concern that for the first time in television history, the entire idea of TV has been in limbo, with major networks fearing the inevitable exodus emigration of their younger audience. Viceland, an A&E subsidiary, is the first network to attempt to steer younger people back to television. Think of it as YouTube for TV, featuring edgier, more social-driven content.
I was recently at VICE Media headquarters in Brooklyn, NY to meet Vice President and to discuss a new reality show—called Abandoned—which airs next month. You may never have heard of him, but Rick McCrank is a professional Canadian skateboarder who will be hosting this new, controversial show. Its premise is simple: travel the globe, trespass in abandoned spaces, skateboard and meet strange people along the way. Director Joe Melendez says the new show Abandoned will be an exciting show to watch that will be more than just a skate boarding show.
Last year, I was asked to assist with the filming of Abandoned as a set photographer for the show. I was also asked to appear in the first episode that officially launches the show. It will feature an extensive interview, focusing on my work and showing some never-before-seen, stunning video footage I captured over the years from some of my most viral photo projects. I start by showing viewers the inside of my loft condo that used to be an abandoned building that I eventually turned into a home before we head out to explore the abandoned parts of my hometown and my current city of Cleveland.
Filming episode inside the home of Artist Seph Lawless
What makes Viceland so unique is the fact it creates all of its own content. Vice Media President Grinstein is hopeful about the network’s future, and he’s focused on programming for the network’s second year of operation with an emphasis on securing more celebrity-hosted content. For example, Viceland’s Gaycation, hosted by Ellen Page, chronicles the obstacles of being gay in other countries.
One thing is certain: Viceland will continue to produce edgier and more controversial content. With existing shows with the name F*ck That’s Delicious and Balls Deep, that really should come as no surprise.
Vice Media and Seph Lawless will be sharing never before seen images and video that will show that Lawless was the first and only person to capture the snow covered mall on the first day of the blizzard