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YouTube is expanding its slate of original content, with a new series starring MyLifeAsEva, teen dystopian flick The Thinning and a sequel to Lazer Team.
YouTube’s subscription service, which is still not yet available in the UK, costs $10 a month and providers users with ad-free, downloadable streaming. But original, exclusive content remains key to building the site’s appeal and audience, with YouTube premiering its first wave of originals in February 2016 (you can read our reviews of them here).
While Brits wait for the subscription service to launch here, they can purchase the titles, rather than subscribe to YouTube Red. YouTube, meanwhile, shows no signs of stopping, with three new originals announced this week.
Me and My Grandma (working title)
MyLifeAsEva’s Eva Gutowski will star in a new multi-generational series based on her relationship with her grandmother. The single-camera show will chart the adventures of the pair, as they try to make it big in Hollywood.
“As a child growing up, my grandma and I had so many great adventures together and I am grateful that she is still a big part of my life today,” said the 21-year-old vlogger, who recently starred in web series How to Survive High School. “I am excited for viewers to experience all the laughs I have shared with her but in a longer-form, scripted series.”
The show will span six episodes and is exec produced by SelectNext’s Adam Wescott and Scott Fisher. How to Survive High School writer Annie Stamell is alsoon board, with Grounded for Life’s Jill Condon as showrunner.
The programme will be released on YouTube Red in 2017.
YouTube has also acquired a new thriller, called The Thinning.
The movie, which is produced by Legendary Digital Studios, stars Vine’s Logan Paul, and Peyton List, as two students in a world where population control is dictated by a high-school aptitude test. In true teen dystopian fashion, the duo decide to take down the system.
The film is directed by Michael Gallagher (Internet Famous) and co-stars Lia Marie Johnson, Calum Worthy (Austin & Ally) and Ryan Newman (The Thundermans). It will be released on YouTube Red later this year.
“We are thrilled to partner with YouTube Red to release The Thinning,” commented Greg Siegel, Senior VP of Development and Production at Legendary Digital Studios. “The platform gives our film an exciting opportunity to connect with a huge audience of digitally native fans eager to see their favorite performers in high-end content in a proven genre.”
“We know our audience will be captivated by the film’s suspenseful storytelling and brave characters as they fight for survival. The Thinning will be the first feature length thriller that we are releasing on YouTube Red, and we believe it has all of the elements to be wildly popular with our fans,” added YouTube Content Chief Susanne Daniels.
Lazer Team 2
The final new commission for YouTube Red’s original slate is a sequel to Lazer Team.
Produced by Austin-based Rooster Teeth, the web veterans owned by Fullscreen, the sequel will follow the group’s sci-fi comedy, which was one of the very first YouTube Red originals to be released earlier this year.
Written by Rooster Teeth’s Matt Hullum, Burnie Burns, Josh Flanagan and Chris Demarais, the project was crowdfunded on Indiegogo, raising $2.4 million, before going on to be released in cinemas and then acquired by YouTube for its subscription service. It follows a group of small-town misfits who donned pieces of a battle suit to become the eponymous force and defend the Earth from aliens.
No further details are known about the sequel, but it will be released in 2017.
YouTube Content Chief Susanne Daniels announced the new commissions at the Google event during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour.
Panels showcased YouTube original documentary film Vlogumentary, plus Single by 30 and Buddy System, while Daniels and YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl spoke about the rise of the young, millennial audience on the site, and the need for a fairer measurement system for online and TV viewing.
Daniels also commented on diversity in Hollywood: “I know Hollywood continues to talk about how to bring more diverse faces to the screen. I’m proud to say that YouTube more broadly, as well as our YouTube Red originals, is already delivering on that promise, showcasing a broad range of genres and giving voice to a diverse universe of creators — creators who represent all walks of life, offer fresh perspectives and above all deliver great storytelling.”
The event follows the unveiling of YouTube’s other original titles at VidCon last month, including a TV series based on the Step Up movie franchise.
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