Steve Buscemi is partnering with AOL for a brand new, unscripted docu-series called Park Bench.
The show follows Buscemi as he travels around New York having conversations about culture and current affairs with the city’s regular and celebrity residents. The video series is part of the AOL Originals platform which will carry the first season online in the U.S. The show is produced by Olive Productions and RadicalMedia, and is intended to portray Buscemi’s relationship with the city of New York and the array of one-of-a-kind characters within its unique metropolitan landscape. “It’s about Steve’s relationship with New York,” says AOL Studios head Gabriel Lewis. “He’s bringing his voice and point of view to it.”
The concept was inspired by a number of RadicalMedia produced videos Buscemi shot with the band Vampire Weekend to promote one of their concerts. In one of the videos, Buscemi talks to carpenter Geo Orlando on a park bench. “We just hit it off,” said Buscemi. “We came up with the idea that Geo and I talk to people on park benches. I don’t know that I’m a great interviewer, but I do like to talk to people. We just want to make it conversational. Having lived and worked in New York my whole life, I’m ready to take advantage of all it has to offer.”
Indiewire notes that the premise of the show sounds strikingly similar to Jerry Seinfeld’s popular web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and it will be interesting to see how AOL and Buscemi attempt to distinguish the series from the many takes on capturing New York’s culture that are already out there. Production is set to begin this month, but no release date has yet been set for the series.