StartUp (2016 TV series)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||20 (list of episodes)|
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television|
|Original network||Sony Crackle|
|Original release||September 6, 2016– present|
StartUp is an American drama web television series created by Ben Ketai that premiered on September 6, 2016 on Sony Crackle. The series stars Martin Freeman, Adam Brody, Otmara Marrero, Edi Gathegi, Ashley Hinshaw, Karissa Montaner, Ron Perlman, and Addison Timlin. On November 15, 2017, the series was renewed for a third season that is scheduled to premiere on November 1, 2018.
StartUp follows "the emergence of GenCoin, a brilliant yet controversial tech idea centered on digital currency — an idea that gets incubated on the wrong side of the tracks by three strangers who don’t necessarily fit the mold of “tech entrepreneurs” and a crooked FBI agent who will go to any lengths to take them down."
Cast and characters
- Martin Freeman as Phil Rask
- Adam Brody as Nick Talman
- Otmara Marrero as Izzy Morales
- Edi Gathegi as Ronald Dacey
- Ashley Hinshaw as Taylor (season 1)
- Karissa Montaner as Karina
- Ron Perlman as Wes Chandler (season 2–3)
- Addison Timlin as Mara Chandler (season 2–3), Wes' daughter.
- Reina Hardesty as Stella Namura
- Jocelin Donahue as Maddie Pierce
- Ektor Rivera as Eddie
- Wayne Knight as Benny Blush
- Robin Thomas as Leonard
- Dat Phan as Daewon
- Vera Cherny as Vera
- Allison Dunbar as Kelly (season 3), Wes’ longtime friend and trusted lawyer.
- Mira Sorvino as Rebecca Stroud (season 3), an NSA agent who has come to investigate ArakNet, and will do whatever it takes to have ArakNet partner with the government.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||10||September 6, 2016|
|2||10||September 28, 2017|
Season 1 (2016)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Seed Money"||Ben Ketai||Ben Ketai||September 6, 2016|
|FBI Agent Phil Rask blackmails Miami money launderer Andrew Tallman for illicit funds belonging to dangerous people. Andrew begs his son Nick to move the funds from offshore accounts, but Nick wants nothing to do with his father's schemes. Izzy Morales exhausts her financing options for GenCoin, her cryptocurrency startup, and moves her prototype into her parents' garage. Nick is inspired by Izzy's pitch to his firm, and uses his father's dirty money to personally finance her work. However, as Andrew goes into hiding, Nick receives an intimidating visit by Phil and later by Ronald Dacey, a lieutenant of Little Haiti gang LH7 whose money Andrew was laundering.|
|2||2||"Ground Floor"||Ben Ketai||Ben Ketai||September 6, 2016|
|Ronald gives Nick and Izzy 24 hours to get his $300,000 in cash. They race between banks making cash withdrawals, coming up with a little over half. But a drive-by shooting in Little Haiti endangers Ronald's son, Tuey, and he decides to become a partner in GenCoin to improve prospects for his family and community. Meanwhile, Phil continues looking for Andrew's money but faces resistance from his colleagues and his frustrations come out after a fender-bender. Special Agent Maddie Pierce arrives from Washington, DC to assist with his investigation.|
|3||3||"Proof of Concept"||Luis Prieto||Ben Dubash||September 6, 2016|
|Two weeks earlier, Phil arrested hacker Daewon whose laptop lead to evidence against Andrew. Nick resigns from his job; he and Ronald spend a few days pitching GenCoin to potential investors in their respective worlds but get no takers. Andrew warns Nick to return the money before others come after him; Izzy agrees but notes that Nick now contributes nothing to the startup. Having provoked a gang war, LH7 leader JJ declares himself the king of Little Haiti and threatens Ronald to stay in line. At his girlfriend's father's golf fundraiser, Nick meets investor Benny Blush. Maddie follows Nick and takes pictures of him meeting with Izzy and Ronald. Phil advises that the commonality between the three people will lead them to Andrew's money.|
|4||4||"Angel Investor"||Luis Prieto||Scott Gold||September 6, 2016|
|Maddie gets a lead on the cash withdrawals Nick made; Phil traces them to the accounts Izzy opened and realizes their total matches the sum Andrew was laundering. Phil tasks Daewon with stealing the money from Izzy, offering to return his laptop and clear him of charges. Benny is lukewarm about the GenCoin pitch, but Nick perseveres and closes the deal, gaining a $1.5 million investment. Nick and Izzy go out to celebrate. Maddie visits Phil and they have sex, but Maddie becomes suspicious when Daewon arrives. As Phil struggles to keep Maddie from leaving, Daewon clubs her with a baseball bat. Meanwhile, LH7 buys guns to raid a stash house in Old Town and kill the man who started the violence. Ronald feels they've been led into it and stops Tuey from going. When they are ambushed and pinned down in a parking lot, Ronald goes in alone and ends the gunfight.|
|5||5||"Buyout"||Ben Ketai||Ben Ketai||September 6, 2016|
|With a legitimate investor in Benny, Nick and Izzy try to buy out Ronald but he refuses. Ronald tries to match Nick's investor by shaking down real estate developer Lance Cherelus for not paying his dues to the gang. JJ gives Ronald three days to get the gang's money. Daewon hacks Izzy's accounts and steals the $1.8 million despite Izzy and Nick's efforts to stop his hack. Phil keeps a concussed and bloody Maddie in his bathtub; Daewon wants her dead but Phil sends Daewon away with a gun to his head. Phil ends up throttling Maddie to keep her quiet and throws up when he realizes he almost killed her; but she fights him and he ends up killing her.|
|6||6||"Bootstrapped"||Luis Prieto||Sharon Lennon & Josh Corbin||September 6, 2016|
|Ronald goes to Nick's home to accept the buyout offer and threatens Nick when he learns the money is gone. Nick is kicked out by his girlfriend Taylor. Ronald later suggests pooling whatever money they have together for an office with interns, so investors will take them seriously. Their first test is Benny, who wants to know who the other investors are and to have his lawyers check their books. Elsewhere, Phil dumps Maddie's body in an alligator-infested canal.|
|7||7||"Valuation"||Luis Prieto||Josh Corbin||September 6, 2016|
|Izzy ambushes tech whiz Alex Bell outside competitor RadCoin and invites him to consider investing in GenCoin instead. JJ and Oscar try to gain Tuey's loyalty. JJ calls Ronald to account for LH7's money, threatens and beats him before the gang. Alex meets with GenCoin, to learn why each of them is personally invested. Ronald arrives beaten and bloody, and tells them what he went through because he believes in the startup. Meanwhile, the FBI is looking for Maddie who has missed scheduled check-ins. Phil arranges to flee the country under a new identity, but finds his offshore accounts have been raided and his credit cards declined.|
|8||8||"Pro Rata"||Ben Ketai||Josh Corbin||September 6, 2016|
|Alex offers to fully fund the startup, taking the trio out for dinner then a night at his club. Ronald is suspicious of Russian gangsters with Vera, Alex's business manager, but Nick brushes it off to celebrate with a pair of party girls. The next morning Phil tries to intimidate Nick into providing Alex's banking records, but Nick realizes Phil is looking to blackmail Alex and refuses. Maddie's body is found and Phil tries to go on the run but doesn't have gas money. He confesses the murder to his ex-wife and takes what cash she has in her purse. JJ instructs Tuey to kill his father to make things right, putting a gun in his hand, but Tuey instead executes JJ and Oscar. Fearing retribution, Ronald locks down his household, but he is instead given tribute as LH7's new leader.|
|9||9||"Hostile Takeover"||Ben Ketai||Scott Gold, Paul Leyden, & Josh Corbin||September 6, 2016|
|Izzy signs a partnership deal with Alex and a server farm, cutting out Nick and Ronald who never signed a contract. Ronald invites Nick for a family dinner, after which Nick apologizes to Taylor. Phil has dinner with his daughter. Izzy goes to a pre-release cocktail party at Alex's to generate buzz for GenCoin, and talks up Nick and Ronald for their vital contribution to the startup. The next day Izzy finds herself locked out of GenCoin.|
|10||10||"Recapitalization"||Ben Ketai||Ben Ketai||September 6, 2016|
|Izzy learns that Alex owns the server farm, and thus two-thirds control of GenCoin's board. Ronald's $300,000 is returned but Vera withholds the agreed 50% bonus for interest and inconvenience. Tuey criticizes Ronald for not killing her, and his trauma over killing JJ and Oscar comes out. Izzy leaves her sister Lena's wedding reception to see Nick, apologize and explain her situation; they argue and have sex. Phil attempts suicide when he receives a phone call; the trio call him to a meet and play an mp3 Daewon recorded which implicates Phil in Maddie's death. With this leverage and Alex's banking records, they instruct Phil to take Alex down without incriminating them or GenCoin. Phil visits Alex and shakes him down for the cash in his vault but is captured by the Russians and interrogated by Vera. The Russians shoot Lena in the head in her family home. Izzy and Nick regroup with Ronald in Little Haiti, where JJ is being buried.|
Season 2 (2017)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|11||1||"Disruption"||Olly Blackburn||Ben Ketai||September 28, 2017|
|12||2||"Bleeding Edge"||Olly Blackburn||Josh Corbin||September 28, 2017|
|13||3||"Early Adopters"||Olly Blackburn||Francesca Sloane||September 28, 2017|
|14||4||"Loss"||Olly Blackburn||Nate Crocker||September 28, 2017|
|15||5||"Pivot"||Olly Blackburn||Mac Marshall||September 28, 2017|
|16||6||"Liabilities"||Ben Ketai||Josh Corbin||September 28, 2017|
|17||7||"Growth Hacking"||Ben Ketai||Ben Ketai||September 28, 2017|
|18||8||"Opportunity Cost"||Ben Ketai||Leo Sardarian||September 28, 2017|
|19||9||"Leverage"||Ben Ketai||Josh Corbin||September 28, 2017|
|20||10||"Soul Proprietor"||Ben Ketai||Ben Ketai||September 28, 2017|
On January 27, 2016, it was announced that Crackle had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. It was reported that executive producers were set to include Ben Ketai, Tom Forman, Andrew Marcus, Ray Ricord, Gianni Nunnari, and Shannon Gaulding. Ketai was also expected to serve as a writer and director on the series. Producers were announced to include Adam Brody and Anne Clements. Production companies involved with the series include Critical Content and Hollywood Gang Productions. On January 13, 2017, Crackle announced that they had renewed the series for a second season. On November 15, 2017, Crackle officially renewed the series for a third season. On August 27, 2018, it was announced the third season would premiere on November 1, 2018.
Simultaneously alongside the initial series order announcement, it was confirmed that the series would star Martin Freeman, Adam Brody, Edi Gathegi, and Otmara Marrero. That same day, it was reported that Jocelin Donahue had been cast in a recurring role. On March 17, 2016, Ashley Hinshaw joined the show in a starring role. On April 19, 2017, it was announced that Ron Perlman and Addison Timlin had joined the series' main cast. On January 14, 2018, it was reported that Mira Sorvino would appear in the third season in a guest starring role. On February 7, 2018, it was announced that Allison Dunbar joined the series in recurring role.
Principal photography for season one began during the week of January 25, 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
On July 27, 2016, Crackle released the first official trailer for the series. On August 7, 2017, Crackle released a trailer for the second season. On August 7, 2017, Sony Crackle released a trailer for the third season.
On September 21, 2018, the series is scheduled to hold the world premiere of its third season during the second annual Tribeca TV Festival in New York City. Following a screening, a conversation will be held featuring members of the cast and crew including director Ben Ketai and actors Edi Gathegi, Ron Perlman, Adam Brody, and Otmara Marrero.
The first season of StartUp received a mixed reception from critics upon its premiere. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a 33% approval rating with an average rating of 5.5 out of 10 based on 12 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "StartUp is a LetDown." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 52 out of 100 based on 13 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
- Petski, Denise (July 27, 2016). "'StartUp' Trailer: Extended Look At Crackle's New Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
- Petski, Denise (January 27, 2016). "Crackle Orders New Drama 'Start Up' Starring Martin Freeman & Adam Brody". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 13, 2017). "'StartUp' Renewed For Season 2 By Crackle – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (November 15, 2017). "'StartUp' Renewed For Third Season By Crackle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Pena, Jessica (August 27, 2018). "StartUp: Season Three Premiere Date Announced by Crackle - canceled TV shows - TV Series Finale". TV Series Finale. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (January 27, 2016). "'Black Sails' Casts David Wilmot; Jocelin Donahue Joins Crackle's 'Start Up'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (March 17, 2016). "'Taken': Jose Pablo Cantillo Cast In NBC Prequel Series; Ashley Hinshaw Joins Crackle's 'Start Up'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 19, 2017). "Crackle Orders 'The Oath' Drama Series Produced By 50 Cent & Movie 'In The Cloud', Renews 'Snatch' & 'SuperMansion'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Ramos, Dino-Ray (January 14, 2018). "'StartUp': Mira Sorvino To Guest On Season 3 Of Sony Crackle Thriller — TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (February 7, 2018). "Allison Dunbar Joins Crackle's 'StartUp'; Úrsula Corberó In 'Snatch'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (July 27, 2016). "'StartUp' Trailer: Extended Look At Crackle's New Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (August 7, 2017). "'StartUp' Trailer: First Look At Season 2 Of Crackle Drama Series – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Hayes, Dade (September 21, 2018). "Sony Crackle's 'StartUp' Season 3 Trailer Adds Mira Sorvino To The Mix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
- Littleton, Cynthia (August 22, 2018). "Bryan Cranston, 'Ray Donovan,' 'Shark Tank' and 'Law & Order: SVU' Set for Tribeca TV Fest". Variety. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
- "StartUp: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
- "StartUp: Season 1 - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved February 7, 2018.