Step Up TV series leads YouTube’s new line-up of originals
Staff Reporter | On 25, Jun 2016
YouTube is stepping up its original content game with a new line-up of shows and movies – literally, in the case of its biggest new production.
Yes, YouTube is turning Step Up the movie franchise in a TV series. Starting way back in 2006 with Channing Tatum in the lead role, Anne Fletcher’s film spawned a series of sequels and will now make its way to the streaming stage. The announcement, made by Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s Global Head of Original Content, at VidCon this week, marks the first big-budget title for YouTube’s original content arm that hasn’t originated with its own community of vloggers.
Daniels tells announced in her keynote speech that she spent years pestering Lionsgate (whose Summit Entertainment produced the film) to turn it into TV.
The 10-episode series is also a statement of intent for YouTube: Lionsgate are the producers of Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, one of the most acclaimed and popular series on the streaming scene.
But Daniels is not about to leave behind the vloggers that have built YouTube’s community: she expects online stars to be a natural part of the show’s cast.
“This is the best place to put Step Up of all the places I’ve been recently, from a brand perspective and from an audience potential perspective,” she added. “Dance is a hugely successful genre on YouTube.”
Daniels also announced a renewal of Scare PewDiePie for another season, as well as a new film for comedy duo, Smosh.
All of them will ultimately premiere as exclusives on YouTube’s subscription service, YouTube Red, which costs $10 a month and is currently only available in the US and Australia. For countries where Red is not available, many of the YouTube originals will be available to buy or rent.
Despite the competition YouTube Red faces in the subscription arena, Daniels said that the nine projects that have already been launched are enjoying success as one of the “leading drivers” of new subscriptions, claiming that some have “viewership that rivals similar cable shows”.
“We’re also seeing creators featured in YouTube Red Originals get a boost in subscribers and watchtime on their main channels, with most of this watchtime coming from viewers who haven’t watched that creator’s content before,” she revealed, encouraging vloggers to opt in to YouTube’s subscription platform.
Social media response is strong around the originals, which YouTube attributes to the high volume of views on mobile devices. According to Daniels, A Trip to Unicorn Island “earned more Twitter mentions and impressions at launch than Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, House of Cards and True Detective saw when they were released”.
Here is the latest line-up:
The film franchise transitions to a new series with a heart-pounding, sexy, music-filled and dramatic look at dancers in a contemporary performing arts school. Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot and Meredith Milton, all producers of the Step Up films, will executive produce the series, along with Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum, who both co-starred in the original.
Rhett & Link’s Body System
In this new scripted comedy series, Rhett & Link must go out of their way to regain control of their internet empire from their mutual co-ex-girlfriend, who is now an evil Infomercial Queen holding a very big secret over their heads. The series also features Saturday Night Live alums Molly Shannon and Chris Parnell, as well as Leslie Bibb and Page Kennedy.
Dan & Phil Tour Documentary
Dan Howell and Phil Lester are taking their fans inside their latest world tour, The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire, promising anecdotes, sketches, and “lots of surprises”.
Executive produced by award-winning filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, Maker Studios, and Shay “ShayCarl” Butler, Vlogumentary provides a personal, intimate lens into the world of some of YouTube’s biggest creators and demonstrates the power of the platform in shaping the lives of creative voices, their audiences and the media landscape.
Untitled Animated Series
3BLACKDOT and its top YouTube creators SeaNanners, TheMrSark and VanossGaming star in an animated comedy series, helmed by Michael Rowe, Emmy Award-winning writer of Futurama and “Family Guy, about a team of ill-equipped paranormal investigators who struggle to unfold the mysteries of the paranormal universe for their desperate clients.
Untitled Michael Stevens Project
In this new educational series, Vsauce creator Michael Stevens will take a deeper look into the human mind, using real subjects, including himself and special guests, to show some of the most mind-blowing, important and least understood aspects of human nature.
Scare PewDiePie: Season 2
Produced by Maker Studios, the creator and executive producers of The Walking Dead franchise from Skybound Entertainment, and Felix Kjellberg under the Revelmode banner, the reality adventure series is renewed for a second run, promising “even more thrills and chills”. Read our review of Season 1 here.
Foursome: Season 2
Produced by AwesomenessTV, the second season of Foursome returns to YouTube Red, following Andie’s adventures in the high school dating world. We meet a brand new Andie, a new era of extracurricular hooking up and high school awkwardness.
Untitled Smosh Movie
After releasing the episodic series Part Timers on YouTube, Smosh is coming back for a feature-length comedy on YouTube Red. Luckless Charlie (Anthony Padilla) moves into a new apartment, only to find he has a roommate: a self-centered ghost named Max (Ian Hecox). Max makes Charlie’s life a living hell, until they learn that the only way Max can get into heaven is by working together.
Fight of the Living Dead
— YouTube (@YouTube) June 24, 2016
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A modern love story from Wong Fu Productions.
— YouTube (@YouTube) June 24, 2016