Tucky Williams wasn't certain how well her web-based series Girl/Girl Scene and some of her other offerings were doing, until she looked at the numbers.
At the end of May, she had more than 5.5 million views for the series and other videos between three platforms, including her own website (Luckytucky.com), the show's website (Blip.tv/girlgirlscene) and Youtube.
By her calculations, she is on track for more than 12 million views this year, and that is not even factoring in that a fourth season of the lesbian drama series will be out this year.
Since the start of the series in 2010, it has been seen more than 20.3 million times, according to Williams.
"I was like, 'Wow, I didn't know that I was doing that well,'" Williams says.
The show, which has been shot entirely in Lexington, started as a half-hour to 45-minute episode series in the first season to shorter, "web-friendly," episodes of seven to 12 minutes for the most recent season, which followed a tentative romance to a surprising conclusion.
Williams stars as Evan, a somewhat haunted, mysterious and controlling character who goes through a number of romances, from one-night stands to full-blown affairs. It touches on issues important to Williams such as epilepsy, which she has, as does Evan.
Co-stars have included a number of Lexington-based actors such as Joe Gatton and Lauren Virginia Albert, who is now based in Los Angeles, to nationally-known actresses including Kayden Kross and Abisha Uhl, frontwoman of the band Sick of Sarah, which headlines Saturday's Lexington Pride Festival.
The series started before smart TVs and Netflix got the country hooked on streaming video with series like House of Cards and then presented Orange is the New Black, which has strong lesbian and bisexual storylines.
"The first two seasons, I found an audience that was underserved, and they watched it because there wasn't enough of it," Williams says. "Someone in an article called me a pioneer in the web series field. I was so touched by that."
And with that audience, Williams has gained celebrity, being profiled on websites such as After Ellen and walking the red carpet at events such as The Dinah in Palm Springs, billed as the largest lesbian event in the world.
In Lexington, she may be as likely to be recognized from her days as a meteorologist on WTVQ-TV. But when she is in places like Las Vegas, she says, "I am constantly recognized and stopped on the street."
One thing the series has not done is make her rich, or even a lot of money, a problem that bedevils a lot of producers of web content.
"Based on the small budget I have, I'm breaking even, but it's getting more views," Williams says.
In addition to shortening the episodes, Williams has also toned down the language and sexuality to help get the series into countries that have more strict laws on content. Looking at the numbers, Williams was surprised to see that the series is popular in Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The series has also given her the impetus to do some other projects including a set of Shakespeare-based films with other women, including Juliet and Romeo and an all-female version of Desdemona's death scene from Othello.
Moving forward, Williams is conscious she has more competition on the web from other web-based series. And while earning more from her work would be nice, she says in a way she is achieving her goal.
"What I want is for as many people to see this as possible and to get something out of it," says Williams, who believes she will eclipse 30 million views in 2015. "The goal of art is to be seen, and be consumed.
"When I'm dead, someone is going to be watching this in Iran. How great a feeling is that?"