Ben Silverman’s Electus, formed last year following the executive’s much-maligned tenure at NBC, has emerged as a deal-making juggernaut in the online video arena, to the extent that many are crediting him with resuscitating a moribund medium. Over the past 12 months, the IAC-owned company has launched projects with four of the Web’s biggest players: Yahoo, AOL, MySpace and Facebook. Soon the company will move forward into territory previously seen as perilous -- scripted content for the Web.
According to sources, Electus is developing a scripted series featuring “well-known TV stars” that will also incorporate multiple social and community elements. Besides the Web, Electus is active in TV and movies. Just last week the company announced a deal with VH1 to launch a reality series, Mob Wives. And recently the company hired Tony DiSanto, the former MTV executive behind hits such as The Hills and Jersey Shore.
But it’s online video where the company may have the most impact. “He’s elevating the whole medium,” said Andrew Budkofsky, evp of sales and partnerships at Break Media. For Silverman, such praise is impressive, considering last year he was being mocked for bungling both programming and politics at NBC. Of course, it helps Silverman’s case that NBC hasn’t exactly vaulted into first place since he left.