Actor-comedian Jake Sasseville launches web series
NEW YORK — Jake Sasseville had it all planned out: He'd been working for a year on a TV show based on his life, and he was going to get it on the air in a unique fashion — by buying network time.
He purchased eight 30-minute blocks on ABC Family to launch "Delusions of Grandeur." It was set to debut at midnight Oct. 4, but the network pulled it two weeks before the airdate, Sasseville said.
"I got a ton of emails from the legal team who all of a sudden chose ... that the show was not going to air," the 26-year-old said of the show, which has now found a home on Blip, a website for original series. "And this was after I paid for the time."
ABC Family, which is owned by Disney, said in a statement that Sasseville's show didn't air "because it did not meet our standards for programming for time buy purchases." The network didn't provide details. He did receive a refund, however.
Sasseville was using the time buy and paid programming format, where the purchaser buys airtime and gets sponsors, but the network retains control. He used the format for "The Edge With Jake Sasseville" in 2008, which aired on ABC affiliates following "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and for "Late Night Republic," which aired on MyNetworkTV and Fox stations from August 2010 to October 2011.
He said funded both programs through sponsorships with Overstock.com, Ford Motor Co., Microsoft Corp. and others.
"Delusions of Grandeur," a loosely scripted comedy about the actor-comedian's life and his successes and failures in the TV industry, debuted Oct. 3 on Blip. So far, four 30-minute episodes have aired, and it returns Tuesday after its midseason break.
He was also able to retain his advertisers, including State Farm insurance company, once his show got the boot from ABC.
Sasseville is producing the series through his production company, City of Sass. He's also has a new book, "Slightly Famous," published by City of Sass Print.
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