Joseph Gordon-Levitt's new TV series "HitRecord On TV" doesn't premiere on Pivot network until Jan. 18, but the network announced Saturday that it has been renewed for a second season.
Participant president Evan Shapiro announced the pickup at the Television Critics Association winter tour in Pasadena, citing strong web traffic for the first episode, which has drawn 500,000 views online since being posted earlier this week.
In the spirit of his open-collaborative production company hitRECord, "HitRecord on TV" creates short films, live performances, music, animation and more from individual pieces offered up by contributors. Gordon-Levitt acts as MC, introducing themes for each show, presenting new talent and welcoming surprise guests.
The show's first episode is appropriately called "RE: The Number One," and focuses on "the No. 1, Numero Uno, the champion, the guinea pig...," Gordon-Levitt says.
In the opener, for example, Gordon-Levitt and some of his contributors perform an original song, "You're Not the Only One," created after Gordon-Levitt asked folks to come up with a song about loneliness. The final product is the result of 934 contributions and I can't get the song out of my head. It needs to be a single, JGL! You can watch the performance at about the 17-minute mark in the video above.
The episode also features an animated short film created from a true story by contributor Roswell Gray of Lincoln, Neb., voiceover work from KatSmash in Scotland, acting performances by Ell Fanning and James Patrick Stuart (JGL has friends), and the work of animators, musicians and more.
All told, 1,440 contributions went into "First Stars I See Tonight," a delicate, bittersweet story about a nearly blind girl and the dad who gives her the stars. (Watch clip below.)
Pivot, which calls itself a cable channel for Millennials, already has great original programming in the comedy "Please Like Me" as well as the docu-talk show "Raising McCain." If the first episode is any indication, "HitRECord on TV" will make a great addition to the network's lineup.
You don't have to be a Gordon-Levitt fan--but really, who isn't?--or have visited the hiRECord web site to enjoy the show. Gordon-Levitt's energy wraps around you like a warm down jacket in subzero Chicago cold. The collaborative process he champions extends to the viewing experience "HitRecord on TV" provides--wildly entertaining, thought-provoking and unexpectedly moving.
"HitRecord on TV" premieres at 9 p.m. Jan. 18 on Pivot. Will you be watching? I will.
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