Is Shane Gillis’s ‘Tires’ the Future of TV Comedy?


This post is by Jason Hellerman from No Film School

Before Tires debuted on Netflix, it was renewed for a second season. A passion project from comedian Shane Gillis, this hard-joke sitcom was self-financed and shot last year, then sold to Netflix for the tune of five million dollars.

In that paragraph alone, there’s a lot to celebrate. Sure, Gillis is a megastar comedian, but the fact that he was able to write and shoot his own show independently, and then find a buyer should make everyone reading feel inspired.

Much like the Always Sunny guys, who shot a pilot for $400 that then became a TV show entering its 18th season, it is possible to make something small and find viewers if you’re willing to bet on yourself.

Regardless of your feelings on Tires, it’s safe to say it’s the kind of TV comedy that streamers are looking for right now. It’s an episodic show that costs very little per episode and that you can tune into any episode and pretty much understand exactly what’s going on.

I’m a huge fan of Gillis, and I think he maybe accidentally tapped into the future of TV comedy. If you’re funny, and can tell a story, all the tools are at your fingertips to make something. Audiences aren’t getting caught up in how slick a comedy looks; they want to tune in and get a reliable laugh.

If you can deliver on that, you might be able to sell your concept to a streamer. And if you go out and make the show, you may even have a warmer room when it’s time to show execs, because you theoretically have a lot already figured out.

The landscape for TV has changed massively, especially in streaming. This ‘bet on yourself’ attitude has always been around in Hollywood, but now, it feels like streamers want you to make those decisions for them, and allow them to pick afterward. and the plus side of shooting yourself, is that you can also put them on YouTube or find a way to self-distribute after too, so selling to a huge place is not the only option.

All of this is easier said than done, but it’s good to have your finger on the pulse of where things are going.