Legendary Digital Networks (LDN) revealed the launch date and pricing for its upcoming subscription platform Alpha, first announced in June, along with its slate of original shows.
Alpha will offer early access to select audience customers (apply here) prior to its official launch on Nov. 3 with a subscription price of $4.99/month.
Alpha will not be a standard SVOD service, a la Netflix or Hulu. In addition to featuring a mix of live programming and returning shows on a pair of channels dedicated to LDN’s pop culture properties Nerdist and Geek & Sundry, it will enable subscribers to interact with each other, as well as with the content and personalities, through live video capabilities including chat and polling. It will also offer online and offline perks to its members, including access to special Alpha members-only events, prizes and product discounts.
At launch, Alpha’s new shows will be:
Hosted by comedian Janet Varney, the show will have teams of celebrities — including Josh McDermitt (“The Walking Dead”), Alison Haislip, Ingrid Oliver (“Doctor Who”), Burnie Burns (Rooster Teeth), and Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community”) — working together to solve complex puzzles and riddles in an effort to escape a room before time runs out.
“Sidekick with Matt Mira”
Nerdist podcast co-host Matt Mira acts as the ultimate late night talk show sidekick to a brand new “guest host” each week.
Comic book creator Jackson Lanzing plays game master to an intrepid space exploration crew (with a rotating selection of celebrity guests) in an original science fiction role-playing game.
“Welcome to the Shadow Zone”
Mark Trillbury (a.k.a. Onyx the Fortuitous), who “skyrocketed” to local fame as Weird Satanist Guy on a Detroit newscast, hosts a public access show filmed in his mother’s basement featuring his opinions on horror films and video games, as well as music videos from his band and interviews with family members, neighborhood antagonists and celebrity guests.
Brian W. Foster, writer and friend of the “Critical Role” cast, discusses the latest episodes of the show with its cast and fans.
“Watch Your Language”
Comedian/rapper Zach Sherwin (“Epic Rap Battles”) uses a mix of live and pre-taped segments to examine the world through wordplay and hip-hop.
Alpa will also feature the following returning series at launch:
“Critical Role: Alpha”
Combining the best in RP gaming and improv, Geek & Sundry’s hit show “Critical Role” uses Dungeons & Dragons as the launch pad for an immersive storyline and gaming experience, with popular animation and video game voice actors including Matthew Mercer, Travis Willingham, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien and Laura Bailey. “Critical Role” will still be available to non-Alpha members on Geek & Sundry’s Twitch channel on Thursdays at 7 p.m. PST.
“Tabletop,” Season 4
Nerd icon Wil Wheaton invites his friends (including geek celebrities) to share witty banter, cheeky camaraderie and curated board games. It will premiere on Alpha exclusively and become available on other platforms in early 2017.
Programming premiering on Alpha later in 2016 includes:
“Choose Our Destiny: Improve Adventure” (premieres Nov. 9).
YouTube improv stars/L.A.-based sketch comedy group The Tin Can Brothers act out audience member suggestions
“Predictament” (premieres Nov. 21)
An interactive talk show in which audience members bet on what answers will be given by the celebrity guests.
“Public Access” (premieres Dec. 4)
A show that gives members of the community the chance to make their own show, whether it be stand-up comedy, an arm-wrestling competition or a round of a homemade board game.
“Majority Rules” (premieres Dec. 9)
A weekly live game show where audience members selected at random play a collection of mini-games, ranging from simple flash challenges to more involved multi-round segments and trivia.
Alpha members will also have 48-hour exclusive access to select episodes of existing fan favorite Nerdist and Geek & Sundry shows including “The Dan Cave,” hosted by Nerdist senior editor Dan Casey,”Co-Optitude, featuring Felicia Day and Ryon Day, “Because Science,” hosted by Nerdist science editor Kyle Hill.