Vimeo web series High Maintenance moves to HBO
James R | On 22, Apr 2015
Fans of stoner comedy, rejoice! High Maintenance has been picked up by HBO.
The web series, which was Vimeo’s first original show to be released on Vimeo On Demand, follows a pot dealer as he travels on his rounds through Brooklyn. But creators Katja Bitchfeld (30 Rock) and Ben Sinclair (Sisters) give their show more smarts than that summary may suggest: each episode features a different client and lasts as long as the encounter requires, from a few minutes to 20 minutes.
Sinclair stars as “The Guy”, whose name is never revealed, putting more focus on customers. The diverse range of characters, low-key performances and array of silliness and serious conversations turns the wittily observed show into an engaging tapestry of humans, each one as neurotic and messed up as the next.
19 episodes of the programme have been released online so far. The initial chapters were published free of charge, until Vimeo picked up the second season and released it under the company’s original banner.
Since that 2014 release, Deadline reports that High Maintenance has become one of the “all-time top-selling releases for Vimeo On Demand”, even picking up a WGA award along the way.
HBO will produce six episodes of the show, which is one of a few online series to make the leap from the web to premium cable – the other is Showtime’s Web Therapy, starring Lisa Kudrow, which is now available in the UK on Amazon Prime.
“High Maintenance has proven to be one of today’s most highly-acclaimed online comedies,” said HBO’s Michael Lombardo. “We are thrilled to bring this sophisticated and clever series to our HBO audience.”
HBO will also release the previous 19 episodes of the show later this year, through HBO, HBO Go and its cord-cutting VOD service HBO Now.
“The pickup by HBO is incredible validation for the show as well as the global creative community developing and releasing innovative programming directly on Vimeo,” added the VOD site’s CEO, Kerry Trainor.
“We have been growing this show organically for three years now, and we are elated to bring it into full maturity at HBO,” commented Blichfeld and Sinclair.
For more information on High Maintenance – and to read our review – click here.