With Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Washington DC making moves toward its legalization, it’s no secret that pot is moving from the shadows to the mainstream. But just how mainstream might be best illustrated in pot’s rise in popularity in the entertainment biz. Case in point: HBO’s recent move to pick up the indie series from Vimeo about a pot-toting Brooklyn hipster, High Maintenance.
According to the Hollywood reporter, HBO will be producing 6 new episodes of the show, and will also make all 19 previous episodes available across the premium network’s growing line of platforms, including HBO Go, HBO Now, and via video-on-demand.
Centered around a roving pot dealer known as “the guy” who services an eclectic group of neurotic clientele, High Maintenance has had a critically-acclaimed, if under-the-radar, run on Vimeo, which is best known as a collaborative space for up-and-coming video content creators. Following an expansive trend of online original programming, the show became the first original series on Vimeo.
The first 13 episodes of the series were homegrown (sorry, couldn’t help it) by married comedy duo Katja Blichfeld (30 Rock), and Ben Sinclair (The Big C), who also plays the lead character. After gaining traction on Vimeo, the site produced 6 new episodes of the show, and now it looks like HBO is following that same formula.
“We have been growing this show organically for three years now, and we are elated to bring it into full maturity at HBO, the gold-standard of both online and televised entertainment,” said Blichfeld and Sinclair, via HWR.
“High Maintenance has proven to be one of today’s most highly acclaimed online comedies,” said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo in a statement. “We are thrilled to bring this sophisticated and clever series to our HBO audience.”
With the move to HBO, the series will instantly have a much bigger net to throw, and with it, much higher expectations. Meanwhile, though still prohibited by the Federal government, in the hearts and minds of much of the public, marijuana is quickly moving from outlaw to accepted (if not upstanding) citizen.