Top YouTube Channel Smosh Eyes Jump to TV (EXCLUSIVE)

Parent company Alloy Digital in talks with multiple cable networks

Smosh could be making the move to TV.

Alloy Digital, the company behind the top-ranked YouTube channel, is in talks with multiple cable networks about finding a second home for the talent across Smosh’s five channels, according to sources. Negotiations are focused on both scripted and non-scripted fare; Alloy is already signing up writers to support the expansion.

A TV deal would another feather in the cap for Smosh, which is led by comedy duo Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox. The channel recently crossed the 10 million subscriber mark, making it the single most subscribed channel on YouTube.

Migrating YouTube-bred intellectual property to TV isn’t a new trend, going back to the successful transition of teen star Lucas Cruikshank, a.k.a. Fred from YouTube to Nickelodeon. More recently, animated breakout the Annoying Orange expanded to Cartoon Network, and Ray William Johnson of “=3” nabbed a script deal at FX.

It’s not an entirely unexpected move given the executives at Smosh parent company Alloy Digital have deep TV backgrounds: Jordan Levin, Alloy Digital president and CEO of its subsidiary, used to be president of the WB while Generate Studios president Pete Aronson formerly led Regency Television. Smosh is led by president Barry Blumberg, executive VP of digital at Alloy Digital.

The talks also extend to drawing from Smosh channel extensions Smosh Games and Shut Up! Cartoons. Smosh got its start on YouTube in 2005.

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  1. Great article. The issue of YouTube talent making the jump to traditional television is still a very touchy subject. YouTube viewers/fans are very loyal albeit also very finicky. It will be very interesting to see what YT celebs make the jump to TV, how/if their audiences and fans follow, does their content/style translate and work for the TV format and finally how will they manage dueling distribution platforms. I would like to point out that you forgot to mention Issa Rae of Awkward Black Girl, who’s currently in development on a scripted series for FOX (I believe) that is being co-written by ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ creator Shonda Rhimes, Ray William Johnson who has just recently successfully sold his first network TV concept and last but definitely not least, Brian Robbins of AwesomenessTV who is now licensing several shows from his online AwesomenessTV channel to Nickelodeon.

  2. DavidSask says:

    Bring back Willam’s Beatdown YT, you are idiots it was popular and had huge views and is needed!!!

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