This is ‘Cuplicated’!

(Pictured above: ‘Cuplicated’)

Discovering the streaming site Vioobu via a very strange press release posted only on BroadwayWorld.com — and since it isn’t April Fool’s Day — The Savvy Screener decided to launch a serious investigation.

Here’s what we could discern from the Vioobu website and other sources:

Vioobu’s flagship series Cuplicated launched earlier this month. This raunchy half-hour comedic drama is written by, directed by, and stars comedian Craig Healy. Formerly host of the web series Clip Cup, Healy plays “a former clip show host” who deals with divorce, fatherhood and career issues.”

Vioobu ‘s latest press release said it picked up two more seasons of Cuplicated before the series even launched. We could only find one single episode on the site, however. And since we couldn’t disable the autoplay feature, we’re providing this link instead (caution: NSFW!) and the following ASFW (almost-safe-for-work) trailer.

Clip Cup is also streaming on Vioobu, along with another show from Healy: Dudes. In addition, Vioobu’s first press release said it would premiere a Healy stand-up special this summer, with a stand-up series from him premiering in the fall.

Besides all the Healy content, you can also find a number of classic TV shows on Vioobu. They include Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, The John Hopkins Science Review, The Gene Autry Show, The Andy Griffith Show, Dragnet, The Lucy Show and Petticoat Junction.

Since all these episodes are in the public domain, meaning that anyone can post them at no charge, we started to suspect that Vioobu is actually a clever hosting site and promotional vehicle for Healy’s own projects, and not an independent streaming service.

Vioobu’s boilerplate had us a little fooled, since it hit all the standard jargon: “Vioobu is the new, ad-free streaming social entertainment platform that makes it easy to discover, view and share content from the most beloved networks, distributors, creators, audiences and brands in digital entertainment. The channel gives viewers access to over 50 hours of original programming, with new, original content rolling out daily. Available on the web, iOS and Android, Vioobu brings together and delivers premiere entertainment experiences across every screen.”

Then site info about Vioobu Plus, an alleged $39.95/month premium service, convinced us about what’s really going on with this site. For that price, you’re promised exclusive bonus content, a behind-the-scenes series called The Directors Cup, and “lost episodes of Petticoat Junction you won’t find anywhere else, including the infamous abortion episode banned from television in 1965.” Then, there’s VioobuPlusPlus, where you get “your very own Vioobu show” for just $179.99/month.

But – and this is 100% true – you can stream the Healy shows, the public domain episodes, and get more information by visiting www.vioobu.com.

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About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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