One month. Five and a half million views.
Has any lawyer commercial, ever, come close to this? Jamie Casino is now Internet famous, and if this reality television deal pans out, he could become nationally famous.
That's right folks -- the lawyer with the flaming sledgehammer, who bought two minutes of Super Bowl ad space, just nabbed a reality television deal, and it came after a massive bidding war.
According to Deadspin, Warner Horizon Television has signed Casino for Casino's Law, a primetime unscripted reality television series. The deal alone isn't particularly remarkable -- he did self-direct a two-minute commercial that has over five million hits, and he has a compelling back story.
Think about it: criminal defense attorney turns to personal injury after brother is murdered, plus there was the whole clearing his brother's name and fighting the now-disgraced chief of police angle. Deadspin says that no concept for the show has been devised yet, so we don't know yet if it'll focus on his legal practice, family life, or what. Obviously, reality TV based on his practice will raise considerable ethics issues, with client privacy, proper disclaimers, etc., all to be dealt with.
It is a little surprising that there were reportedly 40 different parties vying for the right to produce scripted and unscripted materials based on Casino's story. Then again, the viral commercial is basically a backdoor pilot and free advertising for the upcoming series.
One more time, for those who haven't seen it:
Ad Paid for Itself
When we watched the ad, my first thought was, "Super Bowl? This level of production? This must've cost a fortune." And though we still have no clue how much two minutes of localized air time was during the Super Bowl, we doubt it was cheap. (He's repeatedly declined to disclose the cost.)
Either way, Super Bowl airtime? It's hard to make up for that with slip-and-fall cases.
Add in whatever he'll make from the reality TV deal, the free advertising he got from his viral YouTube video, and that he will get if the show makes it to the air, and that expensive local TV spot was almost certainly worth it.
Will it Be Made?
Ah hah! That's the catch.
A deal with Warner Horizon Television doesn't guarantee that the show will be made. Heck, they don't even have a concept yet. It simply guarantees the rights to the studio, and probably a paycheck for Casino. Without looking at the contract, we couldn't tell you more. It could be a holding deal, which reserves the rights to make a show for a fixed period of time, or it could be an actual guarantee that a pilot will be produced. The pilot, then, would have to be picked up.
We'll stay tuned, at least until the show debuts. (We seriously doubt reality TV based on being a lawyer is going to provide much entertainment for lawyers, but we could be wrong.)
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