Described by its co-producers and co-stars Rick Copp, Joe Dietl and Ben Zook as “THE GOLDEN GIRLS meets MURDER, SHE WROTE, but with big, hairy gay men,” the acclaimed comedy/suspense series WHERE THE BEARS ARE combines wacky characters and comedic situations with a season-long murder mystery that has captivated and entertained viewers for 3 seasons.

Now set to launch its fourth, and possibly final season through its successful Kickstarter campaign, WHERE THE BEARS ARE promises more of the great characters, thrills and laughs it’s long been known for. In addition to the show’s main characters, viewers will also be introduced to hilarious new characters and returning guest stars in season 4.

The series has successfully raised its goal of $150,000 through the popular crowd funding platform, and season 4 will be seen on its official web site and Youtube pages. The campaign ends later today, and there’s still time to add to the show’s funding totals. All 3 previous seasons of WHERE THE BEARS ARE are also available via those platforms.

When WHERE THE BEARS ARE successfully reached its Kickstarter goal late last night, its co-stars/co-producers shot a special “thank you” video for its devoted fans on its Youtube page. That video is available at the end of this article.


The series focuses on a group of gay roommates who find themselves trying to find out who’s killing a group of hot, young male models in the seamy world of X-rated adult movies.

Among the trio: Ben Zook as Nelson Dorkoff, a down on his luck actor who’s struggling to make it in a town that’s always been obsessed with youth – Hollywood.

Once he finds a handsome guy named Todd (a.k.a. “Hot Toddy”, played by Ian Parks) in his bed one morning, Nelson finds that his luck in the romance department is about to change. As season 4 approaches, Nelson and Todd are getting hitched, and there’s plenty of change in store for Nelson’s friends too.

Nelson’s roommates include ex-porn star Wood Burns (played by Joe Dietl), who finally achieves business success when he launches his own line of designer swimwear, and Reggie Hatch (played by Copp), who breaks away from his former career as a travel writer in order to become a leading author of true crime novels.

183641_224823004307356_1001592897_nLater, Reggie parlays his literary success into a TV career as he hosts a popular reality TV series that dramatizes some of those infamous crimes.

While Nelson and Todd are coming closer together, police detectives Winters and Martinez (played by Chad Sanders and George Unda, respectively) end up going their separate ways.

Just how those changes will impact each character will be seen throughout season 4 of WHERE THE BEARS ARE. “We’re still getting to know the four main characters but Nelson is a neurotic struggling actor and we get to meet his parents this year which should give some deeper insight into his psyche for sure,” Copp says. “Wood is a hapless, naive former porn star who is still finding his way in life and has gone through a string of relationships that don’t seem to last.”

As for Todd, Copp says that his questionable association with the mob could definitely cause problems for Nelson, Wood and Reggie as the wedding day approaches. “Todd is more secretive about where he comes from, but did hint in Season 2 he was from a mafia connected family, and that may come back to haunt him this season as friends and family gather for his wedding.”

Like virtually every web series creator before them, Copp, Zook and Dietl weren’t content to just sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to notice their talents. Such was the case as they began to create WHERE THE BEARS ARE. The increasing prominence and potential of web series instantly provided them the chance to take their content direct to a major audience that’s been typically underserved by mainstream TV – gay males.

380302_187160598073597_1352535190_n“We were all frustrated by rejection and decided to take matters into our own hands,” recalls Copp.

“I also felt the business was changing with the internet and streaming there was a big opportunity to target a loyal niche audience that the television networks were ignoring. And what better niche audience to go after than the one we belong to.”

With the show’s concept developed by Copp, Zook and Dietl during a cocktail chat in, of all things, a hot tub, WHERE THE BEARS ARE’s first season gradually progressed from script stage to production stage. “Once we decided to act in it ourselves, and base the characters on THE GOLDEN GIRLS but as gay bears, it just kind of took off from there and we were shooting within a couple of months.”

Season 3 of WHERE THE BEARS ARE continued to bring viewers its trademark mix of humor and suspense. Thanks to its increased budget, the visual look of each episode improved tremendously.

Recalls Copp, “The fans really noticed how much better Season 3 looked than Seasons 1 & 2, because we had money to spend on such ambitious sets such as a jumbo jet on a soundstage where we filmed the season’s climactic episodes.”

529804_182826881840302_2137499064_nDespite the rough look of WHERE THE BEARS ARE’s first season, Copp says that many fans still tend to gravitate towards those early episodes. It’s something that Copp reflects on with an equal sense of amazement and gratitude.

“I look back on Season 1 and it seems so primitive to me,” he remembers. “We didn’t have a proper sound man and a bare bones crew, but a lot of people say Season 1 is their favorite, so it all comes down to the characters and story in the end. But we are very grateful for the generosity of our fans to make the show look better and more professional every season.”

Copp, Zook and Dietl combined online technology, plus their connections with fellow actors, to assemble the remaining cast members for WHERE THE BEARS ARE. “We found Ian Parks on Craigslist of all places,” remembers Copp. “Joe placed an ad and he was the first one to respond and he came in to audition and he was terrific. We are very aware of what a major part he plays in the show’s success.”

“A lot of other roles were cast just by going to the bars or calling up actors we’ve worked with or have a relationship with,” adds Copp, who says that another popular actress/comedienne (and friend of Dietl and Zook) makes a memorable appearance in season 2 of WHERE THE BEARS ARE.

“Ben and Joe have been friends with Margaret Cho (DROP DEAD DIVA, RICK AND STEVE) for years, and we tried to get her in the first season but her schedule proved too difficult, but it worked out because she came in for Season 2 and played the dominatrix to perfection. We also use a very talented casting director named Craig Colvin to help us find actors as well.”

Although the faces and situations have changed throughout the past 3 seasons of WHERE THE BEARS ARE, Copp still believes that the show’s core concept – uproarious comedy mixed with a dramatic whodunit – remains just as effective and as constant as it was when the show debuted in 2012. For Copp, that continued level of consistency is crucial to the show’s success.

10478121_522853184504335_2457569932364445036_n“I think like any TV show, we’ve all found the voices of our characters as the show has progressed. I like to think we’ve gotten into a groove as an ensemble and it works,” Copp says.

“But the overall tone and silliness of the show has been there since the first episode and we’re very proud of that. I think we’ve been very consistent so the fans know what to expect when they tune in.”

WHERE THE BEARS ARE isn’t just a distinct blend of mystery and comedy. Audiences have praised it for being a highly identifiable reflection of today’s gay male community, and the friendships between them. For Copp, Dietl and Zook, such acclaim has given them an incredible boost throughout production of each season.

“I don’t think we consciously thought about this when we started, but we seem to hear a lot that one reason people love our show is because in a way they see themselves and their lives and how they interact with their friends. Everything but the murder part, thank God! And that has been very humbling and inspiring to hear from those people,” says Copp.

Overall, the show’s co-stars/co-producers hope that WHERE THE BEARS ARE will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of its viewers – while continuing to keep them in equal amounts of hysterics and suspense.

“We want to build our audience even more,” Copp says. “This may be our last season, and who knows what the future holds? We just want to make this a memorable season for all the fans who have shown their support.”

(Note: Copp says that each season of WHERE THE BEARS ARE is closed-captioned and subtitled across all platforms, and season 4 will be as well. “On YouTube and on iTunes or the download at our store we have closed captioned subtitles, and if you buy our DVD we have everything from Turkish to Chinese,” he says. “We have something like twelve different languages. There are plenty of options for anyone who is hearing impaired.”)

The cast/producers of WHERE THE BEARS ARE shot a special congratulatory video for its fans as the Kickstarter campaign successfully concluded. It’s available to watch here:

To contribute to the show’s Kickstarter campaign, visit: