Crackle doesn't earn as much attention as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon, but the streaming service has spent the last year taking small steps into the original content business. In addition to a small lineup of comedies like Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the network premiered its first original drama (Dennis Quaid's The Art of More) in November. That show's moderate success — it's been renewed for a second season — has led to Crackle giving a series order to Ben Ketai's tech drama Start Up this afternoon.
The O.C.'s Adam Brody and Martin Freeman (Sherlock, Fargo) are headlining the show's first 10 episodes, which revolve around a rising Miami company that's being funded by a corrupt businessman's ill-gotten gains and watched closely by a Haitian gang. Brody plays Nick Talman, a "sharp and intelligent financier at a boutique firm"; Freeman plays Phil Rask, a FBI "specializing in financial crimes" who ends up pursuing Talman.
"Start Up carries out our promise to continue our commitment to quality drama," said Crackle general manager Eric Berger in a statement. "We are working with a top-notch team to produce a project that explores the motivations and complexities of creating a new venture, while walking a fine line between crime and legitimacy." If Crackle is going to challenge the other streaming heavyweights, it needs to attract proven talent behind and in front of the camera; working with people like Freeman and Brody is a decent step forward.