Rob Riggle, JB Smoove to star in YouTube series

As two of the hottest comedic actors around, Rob Riggle and JB Smoove are impressive names to add to any cast. So when they join forces to star and executive produce a series, that’s worth noting. And when the show in question just happens to be exclusive to YouTube, that’s even more notable.

Riggle and Smoove are the leads in “Coogan Auto,” a scripted short-form series launching today on Loud, a YouTube-funded channel from Electus devoted to pop culture. Produced by Electus and Principato-Young Entertainment and written by Riggle, “Coogan” features the duo as loudmouth car salesmen working at a dealership with employees even dumber than they are. Judging from the first episode, it’s profane, silly and pretty funny.

Even apart, Riggle and Smoove have the juice to command their own TV series. That they’ve come together to do a show on YouTube only makes “Coogan” all the more interesting. If YouTube-based programming is to get the buzz necessary to draw significant audiences or advertising dollars, getting premium talent on board may be more effective than anything else.

“Coogan” might seem to send a message to a network like Comedy Central, which could have just as easily aired a series like this. But what may look like a competitive threat today could very well end up on its air tomorrow, either in a second window akin to how Showtime previously aired Lisa Kudrow’s “Web Therapy” or maybe even as first-window home for future seasons.

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