NewFronts 2015: Refinery29 Intros 29 Original Series, Teaming with Lena Dunham, Lisa Kudrow, Jill Soloway and Others

refinery29

Refinery29, fresh off announcing $50 million in new funding, unveiled a slate of (not coincidentally) 29 scripted, documentary and how-to series from creative partners including Lisa Kudrow, Lena Dunham, Illeana Douglas and more at its inaugural Digital Content NewFronts on Wednesday.

The digital-media company, which targets millennial female audiences, will roll out the programming over the course of 2015. Other partners include Dan Bucatinsky, Kassidy Brown, Allison Rapson, Mamie Gummer, Mae Whitman, Jenni Konner, Jack Antonoff, Richard Shepard, Emily Ratajkowski, Jessie Kahnweiler, and Wifey.tv co-founders Jill Soloway (Amazon’s “Transparent”) and Rebecca Odes.

“We are excited to expand (on) our winning foundation of style and how-to videos by creating content that is for, by or about women,” said Amy Emmerich, Refinery29’s executive VP of programming. She joined the company earlier this year after working for Scripps Networks’ ulive.com and Vice Media.

The new R29 Originals will be distributed across multiple platforms, including Refinery29.com, YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat. Founded in 2005, Refinery29 launched its first original video content in the spring of 2014 with docu-series “I Am Icon” about music group Icona Pop and “Style Out There” — renewed for a second season — which explores fashion trends around the world.

Highlights of Refinery29’s 2015 originals slate:

  • “Her Shorts”: Scripted series, presented in partnership with Planned Parenthood about reproductive and sexual health issues, will feature short films from Lena Dunham, Emily Ratajkowski, Mamie Gummer, Mae Whitman, Jack Antonoff, Jenni Konner, Richard Shepard and more;
  • “S*!tty Boyfriends”: Comedy from New Form Digital — a joint venture of Discovery Communications, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and others — is exec produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky (the duo behind “Web Therapy”) and New Form’s Kathleen Grace;
  • “The Skinny”: Dark comedy from Wifey.tv’s Jill Soloway and Rebecca Odes about a feminist comedian in L.A. trying to live, love — and get over her bulimia. Jessie Kahnweiler writes, directs and stars alongside indie vet Illeana Douglas;
  • “Daycation With Evelina”: Series in which YouTube fashion and beauty expert Evelina Barry (with nearly 1 million subscribers on YouTube) takes day trips in search of food, fashion and fun in New York, L.A., Palm Springs and other cities.

In March, Refinery29 had about 25 million U.S. monthly unique visitors, according to comScore. About the company’s name: When Refinery29 started back in 2005, the concept was to build the consummate virtual online mall and the website featured articles picking the 29 best of everything in a given category.

Refinery29 held its NewFronts preso at Skylight Modern in Manhattan’s Chelsea district.

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