Net celebs score one-year deal from Peacock
Forget Lonelygirl15: YouTube has spawned two new stars.
Joe Bereta and Luke Barats, whose YouTube “channel” is one of the viral video site’s most popular, are making the jump into television, inking an overall deal with NBC Universal Television Studio.
One-year deal — valued in the low six figures, with an option for a second year — calls for the Spokane, Wash.-based Barats and Bereta to develop series programming for NBC U. Pact contains a blind script commitment from NBC as well as a provision giving the Peacock dibs on using Barats and Bereta as performers in TV shows.
It’s understood that the duo will develop a wide array of projects, from low-cost sitcoms to sketch-comedy concepts.
Barats and Bereta’s comic video sketches have become a popular staple on YouTube, with their video “channel” on the site ranked as the service’s sixth most subscribed. Their most recent short, “Completely Uncalled For,” generated more than 1 million views in its first five days of release.
Duo will remain in Spokane for now.
Barats and Bereta met while attending Gonzaga U. They began doing standup together and producing short films, gaining notice when they started posting to YouTube in March.
Duo are the latest Web wonders to go Hollywood. MTV and Jimmy Kimmel found thesp Andy Milonakis on the Net, while several divisions of News Corp. have signed development deals with “MySpace: The Movie” helmer David Lehre.
NBC has been particularly enamored of YouTube, inking a marketing agreement with the site and reviving the failed WB pilot “Nobody’s Watching” after it started getting noticed because of YouTube.